a new thing (again)…

Feeding the chickens

A lot has changed in the haven these last few weeks. We’ve said goodbye to three of the six children who welcomed us to Zanethemba. Its a definite bitter sweet thing. It’s hard saying goodbye to the children we have been looking after, living with, loving, and generally just doing life with together. They saw us at our best & worst moments. The moments we were missing home, & the moments we all decided to dance ridiculously around the living room as a family on Christmas day. We miss them terribly. Saying goodbye was heart wrenching, but reminded us that this is why we do this. To provide children with the space & time needed to find the right forever-home for each of the children in our care. We’re so grateful that a home has been found where the three can live together as one family along with 3 other children & one fostermom (amazing lady!) These children had been living in Zanethemba for around a year & a half, during which time it seemed impossible to find a home that could keep the family together. But just as it looked like they couldn’t be kept together, God opened a door for them to move into a wonderful home that will provide for all they need. A short while before they moved Kate overheard the youngest sibling (four years old) singing: “Jesus is my home… Jesus is my home…” over & over. When Kate asked her where she’d heard that song before, she replied: “the Lord sings it over me when I’m in bed at night. He doesn’t sing it to me during the day…” so He really does rejoice over us with singing! Hearing this from a 4 year old really helped us in saying goodbye. It reminded us that we only get the privilege of looking after these children for a short time, but God looks after them forever. He’s the Father to the fatherless & heaven help anyone who gets in His way 😉 It reminded us that we weren’t just letting these children go on their own to a brand new home that we believed was the best for them but didn’t really know that much about. We were releasing them from our care back into His. This is something we’re learning (especially with our own 2), that we must do every day.

We are now preparing to welcome in new children as & when they come. We’re taking the opportunity to sort through donations, get some much needed garden work done & go through the mountains of clothes that are piled in every cupboard space. We pray & worship as we do this asking the Lord to really fill every square inch of every room in this house with His presence. It is slightly daunting “waiting”. We have no idea of what will happen next, but we know that it will stretch us. We know that God is going to use whomever comes next to change us, transform us, to draw us closer to Him. He has been speaking to us lately about brokenness…

… so we started writing this blog 4 days ago & meant to finish it the next day. We are learning that we can never rely on tomorrow looking like what we “think” it will look like! Three days ago we had a meeting with our managers who informed us that to the best of their knowledge over the next few days we might have a new child arrive at the haven, a 60% chance. Well, on the fact that they said it is more likely to happen than not, they were right. 5 hours later the child & their social worker arrived unannounced at our front door. We would not have managed to get through the last few days without their support & wisdom: Gert & Eline you guys are AMAZING!! Life instantly stepped up a gear. Welcoming & settling this precious child into the haven, rearranging the bedrooms to provide for her needs, trying to make sense of her story, supporting all the other children in the house as they adjust to having a new friend & housemate. It has been change all round. Then yesterday a simple miss-communication between powers to be, meant that her social worker arrived again at our gates saying the child had to leave, as the judge had not granted an order for her to stay with us. Once again Gert’s experience was able to quickly identify where the issue was and to get it resolved. She got to stay with us! But the whole experience has left us feeling emotionally wiped.

We are so grateful that we (& you in supporting us!) get to be a small part of God’s rescue plan for these children. The last few days have been tough in every respect but they have left us knowing that there is nothing we would rather do than follow this calling God has placed on our lives. When we were dreaming about this call before we arrived here, we never dreamt how hard it was going to be. We literally have to “die” to ourselves everyday, take up our cross & follow Him.

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19: 11-12) Though all the earthquakes, storms, and fires that have happened over the last few days, God’s gentle whisper has constantly reassured us. We are left changed and transformed! He is the God of more than enough. He wants this little girl to live with us in order that she can encounter the Father’s love for her. She experienced a trampoline for the first time yesterday & slightly nervous at first, sat on it watching Joseph bounce. Laughing she counted his bounces & tried not to topple over… fun. Just as it’s meant to be for a 7 year old little girl! What a privilege to see this. She is loving getting to do all the “firsts” in the house… she likes music a lot & enjoys playing the drum. We are incredibly proud of our boys & the haven babies & 2 year old for how they have welcomed this child. Thankyou so much for joining with us in making this possible. We wish each one of you could experience for yourselves the joy of living here, but who knows… maybe one day? In the meantime, your prayers have been a lifeline… your support imperative. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s