Lincoln and Jenny - Missionary Associates to South Africa

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Two Gifts

By Jenny
I just want you to know that the following stories will be very hard to read. I will leave out a lot of the details, but even without them, these 2 stories are heartbreaking.
Last week on Wednesday we received a call from one of the Sisters that works at Freedom Park. I am not completely sure of all the details, but what we have pieced together is that there was an HIV positive mom there who was moving away to die and wanted someone to take her 3 year old son named Zihle (pronounced Zeeklay). The boy’s father had continually raped the mother and the son, and the mother did not want the little boy to end up with his father. Derek went out to Freedom Park and picked him up. We only know his name and birthday, we have no other information about him. When he arrived he looked very healthy and well cared for, but his little eyes were so sad. I can’t even imagine what horrible things he has been through in his short life. He allowed me to hold and comfort him. I rocked him for a while, and when I stopped, he pushed back against me to keep me rocking. Zihle only speaks Zulu, he doesn’t understand English. I talked to him and prayed for him, asking God to translate my words of love and comfort to him. He has adjusted to living here very well. In a few short days, he has warmed up and laughs and smiles a lot. He smiles at me every time I see him now. He is such a sweet little boy.
On Friday I got a call from Numhle, one of the ladies who work in the office. She told me a new little boy had just arrived and she asked me if I could come over to the shelter and take pictures of him. I went into the shelter and saw a frightened little boy, who is maybe 18 months old, wearing only a tank top and shorts (it is pretty cold here now) shivering alone in a chair, completely silent. It was supper time for the kids in the shelter, and no one had time right then to care for the new baby. I tried to talk to him but he would not make eye contact with me, or even acknowledge my presence. He sat with his fists clenched and his arms held closely to him, almost in a protective stance. His clothes and body were filthy and he smelled like smoke from a fire. When I picked him up to try to comfort him I felt he was burning up with fever. I also noticed that he was not wearing a diaper, but was completely dry. (We later found out that he was not able to urinate, and the doctor had to give him a catheter.) We don’t know a lot about this baby either. A lady had found him with his step mother, and got a social worker to take him away from the woman and bring him to us. We don’t know his name, birth date, or anything else about him. I rocked him for a while until the head caregiver was ready to give him a bath and check him in. She tried to stand him on a scale, but he would not straighten out his legs and stand up. Later I noticed that the bottoms of his feet were dirty, so he must be walking, since then I have seen him stand and walk. As she was weighing him, I started to notice all of the wounds covering his little body (while I was rocking him, I was holding him close trying to keep him warm, so I didn’t notice the injuries earlier.) He had many open wounds the size of nickels, as well as other scars in varying stages of healing. I asked Esther, the head caregiver, if some one had done that to him, and she just nodded her head. I had to photograph each wound, and was dismayed at all of the horrible things she pointed out to me. He had a huge lump on one of his arms, scars on his neck, back, chest, forehead and knee. His feet were very swollen. I just kept praying and telling him over and over that he is safe now, and we love him and will protect him. Esther gave him a bath, and I wondered if he had ever had a proper bath in his life. He did not flinch, or show any emotion when the soapy water came into contact with his open sores. He held his arms and legs in the fetal position with clenched fists, he would not relax even a little. After he was bathed and dressed, he was served dinner, which he ate well. Esther named him “Gift”. Looking back, I don’t understand how I was able to be in the room, calmly documenting all of the abuse that this baby has been through, without falling apart emotionally. I know that all of your prayers for us daily sustain us, and help us get through all that we have to face. I can’t even fathom how someone could do all of this to a baby, but I am so thankful that he was found and brought here to us. I know that God has a plan for this little guy’s life, and I am grateful that he has allowed us to be a part of it.
Please pray for both of these little boys, Zihle and Gift, that they will heal physically and emotionally, and that they will be eligible for adoption into loving families. Posted by Picasa


Anonymous Linda said...

I'm praying for both boys as well as all the kids, all the time! Please know that my heart and prayers are right there with you every single day. I'm looking so forward to meeing all the children and loving on them!!!!!! Mom

5:24 PM


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