Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hospice Outreach in Thabong

We are at a time of transition in our lives. Returning to South Africa to establish Restoring Hope Village has been an awesome adventure, and its only begun! As we wade through the construction phase of The Village, I find myself desiring to remain connected with the community. The need around us is unmeasurable and we can't wait until the first house at The Village is filled with children. Until that day comes we are reaching out to those around us.

One place we have started helping is the local hospice association. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the hospice in Thabong cares for 10 preschool aged children. These children come from the homes of patients being cared for by the hospice. To clarify a few things-if you are in the States reading this- the type of hospice care you are envisioning is completely different then here. The hospice program here offers end of life comfort but is very limited. They have no doctor working directly with them. The majority of services they offer include in home visits with very basic care for those who can't walk to the center, support group for those who can walk to their center, counseling, food parcels to those in the greatest need, daycare for a few children and a few other resources. Most of the caregivers are trained volunteers who have no transportation, they walk to the houses of the patients. I will share more about the hospices services as I learn more.

One reason we desired to get involved with hospice is because of their staff, they are so kind, helpful and sincere. They desire to help so many people with limited resources. Since returning, I been thinking about different avenues of how Amber and I could get more involved. Another reasons this is going to hopefully work out well is because our own children can be part of it with us.

We have committed to helping on Tuesday mornings--we share a Bible Story on flannel graph or other pictures, sing songs, plan and provide a craft and play games. Their retired, volunteer preschool teacher translates for us, which is a HUGE help. She is very funny and personable.

Last week we took each child a hat, scarf and mitten set that was hand made by a group of ladies in Iowa. We are in the middle of winter, so it was a perfect time to give these kids something warm. As you can see they sure loved receiving a gift.

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