Zeddie Quek Speaks

OUR STORY

On 27th February 2022, Vernon preached at our local church (in Singapore). The passage was Ecclesiastes 7:13-29. In his sermon, Vernon talked about a man, Rev. Thomas Boston, a Scottish minister who towards the end of his life published a sermon on Ecclesiastes chapter 7 called ‘The Crook In The Lot’. In his sermon, Rev. Boston agreed with the Preacher in Ecclesiastes that while we are here in this world there will be some incident in our life (that is part of God’s active work in the world) that grates us, pains us and all the wisdom in the world would not make things right. For Thomas Boston, it was losing 7 out of the 10 children the Lord gave him and his wife, before the age of 2. And yet Thomas Boston believed in the goodness and sovereignty of God. Rather than turning away from God, he turned towards Him and wrote this sermon – not to blame God but to show God’s goodness in allowing this world to be crooked, so that the crookedness could point people back to Him. As Vernon preached, we wondered if we would ‘have what it takes’ to praise God through whatever crook may come in our lot. Would we be able to point to Him if something happened to our children – three old Alyssa and one year old Thaddeus?

About one month later, we found out we were expecting our third child. On 13th May, almost three months after Vernon preached that sermon, we received life-altering news that our third child had Anencephaly.

We knew right away that we would carry this child to term. This baby that God had given us to steward just like our other two children. We also recognised this as an opportunity to live out and experience in our own lives what we had come to believe about our Creator God – that He is good, and sovereign and desires the best for His children. Amidst the shock and grief, we were grateful that we got to show that He is enough, through sorrow and suffering and valleys of death. We named our third child, Ebenezzer, which means ‘God is our Help’.

But we felt so lost.

Besides knowing that we would carry Zeddie (how we affectionately called Ebenezzer) to term, we were figuring out how to process our grief at this life-limiting diagnosis and yet hold the tension of being thankful for Zeddie’s life and enjoying his presence in our family, while he was in-utero. We didn’t know how to prepare for our child’s birth & death, how to plan for his arrival and also for his funeral. We didn’t know how to help each other and how to help our children navigate all the anticipation and grief and unknown. We cried out to God, to help us steward this suffering He had graciously and sovereignly given us.

That’s when we stumbled upon Abel Speaks. A search of the hashtag #anencephaly on Instagram led us to the Abel Speaks Instagram page, where we discovered their website, the videos of the families they had helped and their podcasts on Spotify. As we listened to the video interviews we were so moved by how ‘seen’ each precious child was and how supported each family was. As we listened to the podcasts we felt our questions being answered and gained helpful insights of more things to think through and learn about – for example; ‘How do dads struggle in this season?’ ‘How do I prepare for the death of my child?’ ‘What if someone close to me is also pregnant?’ ‘What will my baby look like?’ ‘How do we navigate all of the unknowns?’ 

We knew this was an answer to prayer. So we reached out hesitantly, not sure if anything would come of it since we lived on the other side of the world.

Our doubts were unfounded when Stacy, the Family Care Coordinator, reached out to us and offered to connect with us over a Zoom call, together with Kelly. We were so thankful.

We continue to be immensely thankful to Abel Speaks for the ministry that they do. No one is ever prepared to receive news that their unborn child may not survive. And it’s a huge decision to choose to carry to term. But with the support of Abel Speaks and all the families who have been impacted by their work, every family can be supported… through the pregnancy, the passing and the grief of life after loss.

PAYING IT FORWARD

Abel Speaks has been an integral part of our journey with Zeddie. As we reach his first anniversary we want to continue sharing about his life and also about the people who supported us as we carried him to term and as we grieved him. We are choosing to run a campaign to support Abel Speaks and the work they do because we believe more need to hear about them, so that more families can be supported and more precious children can be honoured, in life and death. We are so grateful to those who have supported Abel Speaks in the past, because that allowed for them to support us and many others outside of the US.

Zeddie still speaks!

-Vernon & Ruth Quek

SUPPORT ABEL SPEAKS IN HONOR OF ZEDDIE

Your generous giving allows Abel Speaks to support families like ours. Thank you for your partnership as we seek to ensure that every family will cherish their child’s life and have hope in the midst of sorrow!

Abel Speaks is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all donations are tax-deductible.

2001 W Plano Pkwy, Suite 1909

Plano, TX 75075

(844) 440-0122