Many of you remember Ami Ortiz. Ami is the son of David and Leah Ortiz who pastor a congregation in Ariel here in Israel. Earlier this year, on March 20th, Ami opened up a holiday package during the feast of Purim. The gift disguised a sophisticated bomb. The explosion tore through Ami's body and nearly killed him. Miraculously, Ami survived and now nearly eight months later, Ami and his parents continue to put their life together. The following is an update from Leah Ortiz. As you can see, they are experiencing the highs and lows on this road to recovery. They have made tremendous strides but still need prayers and support.
"Ami played his first basketball game last Sunday. He played for one and a half quarters and made 3 points!! He said, "Oh, I wasn't really playing", meaning, it wasn't like before. Thursday and Friday were rough days for him emotionally - he felt he didn't have the strength to go on. He's mourning what he calls, the loss of his teenage years. It's hard for him to see his left foot in the shape that it's in, and honestly, it's hard for me also. Everything for him is a procedure, from taking a shower, to getting out and having to put special creams on his scars, to the pressure suit, and just getting dressed is painful for him. He has longer and longer periods of being able to joke his way through all the procedures, but sometimes it gets him down, which is understandable.
Yesterday, we went for therapy in the rehab hospital, and the occupational therapist said that she was amazed by the movement he has in his left hand's fingers that he didn't have before. Ami is very nonchalant about all this, but last week when he screwed the cap back onto a bottle with his left hand, I felt like doing cartwheels!!
Tonight he had another game, to which I was also barred :-). He came back happy, his team won by 20 points. He said he only made 4 points, but his defense was awesome!! Not many 15 year olds have the height that he has - 6'3" (1 meter 93 cm's), and you can imagine how scary it might be with Ami all over you as you try to pass the ball - formidable!!
School is coming along well, considering that he misses many days due to therapy and doctor's appointments. This Wednesday we'll have a meeting with his homeroom teacher, the principal, and guidance counselors, to discuss Math which is very difficult for Ami. He does have learning disabilities, and they are actually considering relieving him of Math and replacing it with Biology. The math that he's learning now is difficult, I personally can't make heads or tails out of it, and I know that in my day (1,000 years ago) we didn't learn that level of math in high school,( which means nothing as it's a whole new world now). Ami also did an extensive test this past month to determine what kind of help he is entitled to, and where he is at this point with the LD's. I see Ami much more motivated in his studies than ever before, and I am very grateful for the understanding and care the teaching staff has demonstrated.
This Thursday we will have an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon who will advise us concerning surgery on Ami's left foot ... We've had many visitors from around the world, coming fairly regularly. David pointed out something to me which is true. The Bible recounts in John 12:
v2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. v9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.
Many are coming to see Ami who indeed, came back to us from the dead. I'm reminded of Hebrews 11:
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
This is God's mercy. The miracle of life and healing in Ami is incredible to behold. The miracles are continuing daily, and I believe that many believers are visiting because they want to be encouraged by seeing how the Lord has so mightily answered their prayers, for you have indeed labored in prayer for our son.
We never cease to be grateful. When people tell David and myself that it's wonderful that we still have a sense of humor and seem to have survived so well, we always say, "When the whole world has been praying for you - it's no wonder that we've been able to stand and keep on going forward!"
You might be wondering if those responsible have been apprehended. Even though it's been almost eight months since this attempted murder, the police have made no arrests. While the Ortiz family and Ami himself have forgiven those responsible, they also pray those responsible will be brought to justice so no one else will go through this kind of crucible.