Thank you.

I often think in soundtracks. When a new thing happens in my life, a song will pop into my head – or I try to make one up. Unbeknownst to them, most people I know have a song, it’s one of the ways I try to remember their name on first meeting, e.g Jackie = “Jackie Wilson said” (Van Morrison), Helen = “Hey hey Helen” (Abba)… etc.

One of the songs that I’ve been singing over the last few weeks has been “Not by might”, by Robin Mark. A golden oldie. It’s probably a mixture of me loving that verse from Zechariah 4:6 “‘not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit’ says the Lord Almighty” & also a case of missing the dulcet tones of a Belfast worshiper. Either way, it has sung our kids to sleep over this last week. I love that I used to pelt this song out at home in Ireland & now in SA, my favourite line in the song still remains the same: “ flow through this land, til every man, praises your name once more”. That is my prayer for South Africa, as well as for the whole of Ireland. That as we move & step out of our comfort zones, He would forcefully advance His Kingdom & all would come to know Him.

Over these last weeks, we have (again) had many firsts. The art walls are starting to fill up in our home.

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We had our first baby brought to us at Mihlali & then 2 brothers. We watched, overwhelmed as our own boys shared not only their space, but their toys, books & parents with these children. Thankfully our boys are in school every morning, which gives us 4 hours solely with our 3 Mihlali children.

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When our boys come home, we then take it in turns to make sure we both get some one-to-one time with our own sons, so that they are not feeling overlooked. We are deeply proud of who our boys are & who they are becoming. Although the only information we have given them is that we live in a special house where children come “because they need God’s love”… they display a tremendous amount of love & compassion naturally, as the children come to be placed with us.


2014-03-21 10.40.25Things such as supervision, safety, protection, sanitation, food, healthcare, toys & bed space are all at best unfamiliar & at worst non-existent, in these beautiful ones lives. You can imagine the first 24 hours of these children arriving into our care can be unsettling for both the kids & our boys, so we generally have one of us with the new children to help them settle & the other with our own kids, whenever children arrive at first. Last week, we saw “why” these children need to be urgently removed from their home environments. I now understand that urgency more than ever before. These children do not require an organisation or institution, but a family. One where we know we will never be “Mum & Dad” but where the children can receive the love of God through people who love them, as “Uncle Richie”, “Aunty Kate”, “Joseph & Reuben” & “Aunty Thembu”.

DSCF1951Last week we saw kids come petrified, into our care. They were safer in the garden than in the house & so at one point I just sat on the grass & held my arms out to the most unsettled child, until they eventually felt safe enough to approach me. Eventually he came & sat silently on my lap, for what must have been around 10 minutes, but felt like hours. I prayed inwardly “let my arms be your arms Father, let him receive your love”. None of us have ever known a Father like Him & only He can pour in that perfect liquid love into our hearts, that we were created to receive. Eventually, this little body in my arms relaxed completely & I was able to make eye contact with him & tell him (through Thembu) that we loved him & were not going to hurt him. I told him we would never lay a finger on him to hurt him, and that in return we wanted him not to hurt any of us either. With Thembu to translate, he understood & (now exhausted), started to breathe deeply & began to trust us. Without Thembu (our assistant housemother),DSCF2032 these children would not have understood a word we said, as our Xhosa is patchy at best. So we are deeply grateful to Thembu for all the ways that she loves, mothers & cares for these children. She is like an extremely rare diamond & we value and treasure her so much! Thembu mothers the kids so naturally & I especially love that she always honours the children’s family & parents. She has a beautiful heart, not just for the child but also their entire family.

We had our first “sorry, but we can’t” conversation with a social worker this week regarding a 12 year old needing placed. I was amazed at how much easier God made this for me, as the call came on the day our 2 brothers arrived & I knew for sure it would have been unwise to bring a 12 year old child into the mix along with 2 new brothers. I felt peaceful about saying “no, sorry”, but also felt a strong resolve In my heart that one day we would have more than just 1 house & one day we would not have to say no. One day, there will be room for all children who have no other options, to be welcomed into families.

A wall in our prayer room

A wall in our prayer room

Eventually, we discovered why the children were so scared & we both prayed specifically into those areas whilst the boys were sleeping. The transformation we have seen, even in the last 48 hours, has been incredible. Medical problems have resolved because the children are receiving the love and care they need.

Our first volunteer comes out to visit on 13th of April & we are very excited to have Libby come join us for 10 days to see how we “run”… it’s going to be a lot of fun 🙂 I am expectant that every person who visits us here will leave with a vision of the honoured Christ, high & lifted up.. but also a clear vision for their own lives & redefinition of what it looks like to welcome vulnerable children into family. The Lord Himself speaks over every child: their worth, identity, value & His divine stronghold over their life. He gives them a new Spirit not of fear, but of love, power & a strong mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) Thank you God that you have overcome death! Thankyou that you are life in all it’s fullness! And thank you to you reading this, that you have enabled us to welcome them. We are deeply grateful.

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