Hello to all our readers! It’s Buhe here. Debbie’s encouraged us all to get involved in updating the blog so here goes…
Since the last blog entry we’ve probably had about 10 children join us at the Sandra Jones Children's Centre. Namely Divine, Kimberley, Sharleen, Innocent, Cecilia, Sharon, Stan, Wendy, Zachery and Kevin.
Divine, Kimberley and Sharleen are sisters who are orphans and they had been pretty much looking after themselves. The oldest, Divine, is only 12 years old and had the incredible burden of looking after her two younger siblings (one of which is HIV positive) as well as going to school. In the midst of all of this she was raped by her friend’s brother. They lived with their uncle but he cared nothing for them and used to beat them up when he’d come home drunk late at night. These young girls have been through a lot and sometimes I wish I could just erase the terrible memories and take away the hurt and the pain they feel. But then I remember to trust the Lord to do that in their hearts because only He can truly mend a broken heart. I know it was difficult for them to go through what they did but it has made them such responsible, cheerful young girls who are such a pleasure to be around. Just thinking about them puts a smile on my face. And my prayer is that God would heal their hearts and continue to weave a beautiful tapestry with their precious lives.
Innocent and Cecilia are siblings. Cecilia is 13 years old while Innocent is only 5 years old. They are orphans who were living with their aunt in terrible conditions. They were not going to school as the aunt could not afford to send them to school. So Cecilia would help her aunt sell cell phone credit as well as sweets and crisps on the streets. Social Welfare brought them to us to provide a safe place for them as well education at the Sandra Jones Christian School.
Sharon is a 13 year old girl who was sexually abused by her uncle in the rural areas. He ran away and hasn’t been found since. She is tall, slim young girl who just doesn’t seem to realise what has happened to her. During her initial counseling it took about an hour to get her to open up about what her uncle had done to her. She couldn’t even look at me while telling me the story. It makes me sad when I think that such a young child had been exposed to so much already. She has been exposed to emotions and feelings and images she should never have been exposed to. Sharon had no concept or understanding of what sex was or the consequences of having it. She didn’t even know you could get HIV/AIDS that way. She couldn’t understand why her uncle did that to her (rightfully so) and she really hates the fact that it happened to her. She’s lost an innocence and purity she could never get back all because of one twisted man. I pray he finds the Lord and repents of his sin before it’s too late. And my prayer for Sharon is that the Lord would heal her of the trauma and the bad memories and that he would even restore that childlike innocence to her. The devil really tries to destroy children’s lives by getting people to violate them in this way but we trust the Lord for her life because only He can restore the years the locusts have eaten.
Stan, Wendy, Zachery and Kevin were all abandoned babies but praise the Lord they have found a refuge and safety with us. Zachery (4 months old) was severely underweight when he came to us and he was not thriving. He was admitted into Mater Dei hospital for 3 weeks where he managed to gain 1 kg then he was discharged. Stan, Wendy and Kevin are well and thriving and we praise the Lord for that.
So that’s about it for the new children! Pictures coming soon...
Sadly, we lost one of our precious babies, Hope Mhere. She was a twin whose mom died of AIDS soon after giving birth to the two little ones. But the Lord left us with Joy her twin sister who is well and thriving. Joy is HIV positive but is responding well to the ARVs. The Lord saw it fit to take Hope but we thank Him that Joy is still with us. Hope only had one elderly grandmother who can hardly see but she came with us to bury Hope. Our Angela lowered the little coffin into the grave and all the staff members took turns to fill in the grave. And yes, even our Debbie got down and shoveled the dirt into the grave! It’s never easy when a child dies but we’ve learnt to trust the Lord’s timing and not let it discourage us from giving ourselves whole-heartedly to each child.
• Please pray for the children as we are now right in the middle of winter. Willow Park gets very cold during winter especially early mornings and in the evenings. Many of the children have been down with colds and flu. Please pray that’s all it would be and that the Lord would protect and keep our children.
• Continue to pray for our finances. The constant financial struggle keeps us dependant on the Lord – which is definitely a good place to be. May the Lord cultivate in us the faith to persevere despite the struggle
• Pray for all the mothers who look after the children. It can get tiring and they get discouraged. Pray the Lord would strengthen them to give the children the love, care and attention they need and to keep their hearts encouraged in Him
• Pray for Fleur. She is going to on leave for 3 weeks (Aaaaaah!) to be with her husband in South Africa. We trust that the Lord would give them a wonderful time together as a family
Thank you for reading and praying! I trust you are all well and continuing to walk with the Lord daily. It is a narrow road we walk and few find it. But as we continue to walk it, how great the blessings we find along the way, how sweet the fellowship we enjoy with our Maker, how great the faith that rises up in us and how strong the Father’s love that carries us through it all.
All for Jesus,