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Saturday, September 3, 2016

12 babies in 16 days (and two funerals)

Zacharia, Moses and Isaiah sharing Joel's birthday cake - I just had to give you a CUTE photo to start this blog

August was tough.  We received 12 babies in only 16 days (we typically receive one child every two weeks.  We buried 23-month-old baby Megan after she succumbed to an AIDS related illness (PCP pneumonia – read last weeks blog) and tomorrow we bury the mother to our babies Princess and Anthony. This 22-year-old mother was dying from HIV/TB related complications, but in the end died in a fire that engulfed her small mud hut with dry grass roof.  We praise God that Anthony and Princess were safely with us so that they escaped a horrific death.  AND if that wasn’t enough, we had a huge TB scare at the baby home (a blog for another Saturday!).

I just reviewed each of the babies’ stories who came to us in August to look for any patterns to share with you.  Here is what I found:
·      6 of the babies are newborns, either dumped in pit latrines (outdoor toilets), left at the hospital by the mother or removed from a violent mentally disturbed mother.
·      One 2-year-old was dumped on the side of a railroad and the mother ran away.
·      Two 2-5-month-olds were dumped with neighbors and the mother ran away.
·      One young mother had a psychotic breakdown when after her mother died of an HIV related illness and the girl discovered that she had become HIV positive from not using proper precautions when bathing and caring for her mother. The family found her feeding her baby antiretroviral pills (the baby is not HIV positive) and rescued the child.
·      The other two toddlers were left at an “alleged” family members house and then left the country.  Those family members denied that the child was a part of their family and took them to the social welfare department for help.

Many of you have stepped up to become monthly financial donors to help us care for these children and we cannot say THANK YOU enough!  I was losing hope for a time, but you have restored my hope in humanity.  Support also came from right here in Swaziland (which doesn’t happen very often/ever).

Last Sunday we had surprise visitors as some of our friends from Taiwan brought their friends from Hong Kong (who live and work in Swaziland) to visit us.  They are devout Buddhists and believe that it is important to help the poor and specifically orphans and vulnerable children.  The people from Hong Kong invited us to come and visit them at their textile factory in Matsapha and said that they produce many of the children’s clothes for PEP, EDGARS, MR. PRICE (all store brands here in Swaziland). 

Ian and I dropped in yesterday to visit and they gave us a tour of the factory, with promises of giving us children’s clothing as it was available.  Last night Ian got a call at 8PM saying that they were very moved by what they saw and heard and that they quickly pulled together a few things for us immediately, but would have MUCH more next week.

This morning at 7:30AM we met them on the side of the road and they handed us 5 BIG boxes that contained 500 (FIVE HUNDRED) pieces of clothing for our babies!  Brand new!  All sizes!  And they were all from the more expensive stores, not the cheap ones (where I shop).  They apologized that they didn’t have more today, but it was literally all that would fit in their car. Next week they will have more.

You see, I believe that it’s ALL God’s money, and He is the one who invites people in to His story. Everything we have is from Him - everything in the bank, everything in our closet(s), everything in our garage(s) and wherever else we store our “treasures”.   

Even though I am glad to have August behind me, and I look forward to September, I want you all to know that we have seen the hand of God over and over and over again IN the darkness, and we have never felt alone.  He has never left us and never will and He WILL (and does) provide.

Live from Swaziland … spring is in the air (and we hope rain is coming).


PS - we now have 137 children whom we are legal guardians for, living at Project Canaan.

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