Monday, December 20, 2010

A Day That Won't Be Forgotten

{This post was written the day Amber and I picked up Lerato and Monica from the social worker's office-December 20}

Today is a day that won't be forgotten anytime soon.

Today is the day that the first 2 girls came to live at Restoring Hope Village. A day that we, the staff at Restoring Hope Village, have been eagerly anticipating for a while now. We have known about these girls and their situations for more then a month now and have been praying for them. Praying for their safety, for their family or lack of family situation and for their understanding of what is about to come.

Today is a day that these two girls will also not forget anytime soon but with time we pray their hearts will heal and their lives will be mended.

Today is a day that will forever change our lives. Each time God gives us a new child to care for, to love and to help mold them into His likeness, is a life changing day.

Now let me clarify a few details. Restoring Hope Village's first house is nearing completion, but not yet finished. A local social worker, that we work closely with, asked us to do her a favor. To consider taking these 2 girls into our own home while The Village is being completed. After much prayer and guidance from our local trustees the O'Tool family (our co-workers) felt the Lord directing them in this direction. We also desired to take these girls into our own home, but we knew with our upcoming move, having family currently living with us and once we move into our new house at The Village we wouldn't have a proper bedroom for them, we also knew it would be best for the girls to live with the O'Tools.

We have pretty much been on-call for these girls since December 8th but today was the day-December 20th. Their family situation is still a bit fuzzy to us, as the details aren't totally clear. Lerato is 10 years old and Monica is 6. They are cousins and have both been living with their Uncle since both of their mothers died. They have been living in a house full of men, with no mother figure and no one really caring for them. Neighbors report that the girls run in the streets all day and often don't even sleep in their Uncle's home at night.

Today is the day that their entire world got turned upside down again. Their Uncle brought them into see the social worker and that is when they found out that they were not returning with their Uncle to the township. Today they left everything that is familiar and what they call home.

Over the past 4 years of living in Welkom and caring for orphaned and vulnerable children it has become apparent to me how much family means to these children. It doesn't matter if it is an uncle, auntie, cousin, granny and often it isn't even a close blood relative but these children desperately hang onto these family members. It doesn't matter to them if they aren't fed, clothed, or loved by these so called family members. Love doesn't even enter these children's minds, only survival. These children don't even know what love is nor do they know how to accept it. Love is a foreign concept to them. The lasting comment from the social worker today "These children don't even know the love of a mother's heart."

Today Amber and I held 2 screaming, kicking, fighting little girls that in reality didn't know how to act differently. They were most likely acting out of fear. Fear of being ripped out of their Uncle's care, fear of these two white ladies holding them and fear of the unknown.

You may be asking yourself, so why did these 2 girls have to leave their uncle? I asked myself that many times in the short timespan of 30 minutes which seemed more like an eternity. Could their uncle be that bad? YES. The girls are filthy from not being washed properly, their shoes are too small, their clothes have holes and even though these are all materialistic things we know he hasn't been caring for their needs. They are small in size for their age, the uncle drinks way too much, and the only reason he desires to keep them is for the small foster grant he receives from the government for caring for them.

Even though today and most likely tomorrow and all this week will seem rather foreign to them and bewildering, we pray that Lerato and Monica will settle into their home comfortably. We pray they will be able to understand what love is and how to accept it. Most of all, we pray for their spiritual life-that they will come to understand and know that their Heavenly Father loves them more then we love them.

We ask that you also pray for Lerato and Monica.

Prior to their arrival we picked out clothes, shoes, school bags and Christmas presents for the girls. They arrived at The O'Tool's house with Christmas presents under the tree for them. I'm sure that is also another first of many firsts to come their way.



1 comment:

mary said...

Looking forward to meeting them! Will be praying that they settle in quickly and learn God's love as well as the love you all will bestow upon them.