Cathcart Prayer and News Letter
I hope this email finds you well, healthy & enjoying this new season the Lord has you in! I tend to overwrite in an attempt to make up for my inability to effectively communicate! So I promise to try to stick to short (ish!) sentences whilst summarising the last 2 months.
Port Elizabeth: Mihlali Children’s Haven is now full. The last 2 months have been a whirlwind of activity. We received our first baby girl on the 6th of March. She brought such joy & was a welcome reminder to us of dreams fulfilled. Then came our 2 brothers, 4 & 3 year old boys. They taught us how to love & welcomed Jesus gladly into their hearts on the same day they arrived into our home. We led them in a prayer shortly after this, forgiving those who had hurt them & saw a visible transformation take place in the weeks that followed. They are now full of love, power & sound minds. These boys know who they are!
On the 25th of March a 3 year old child with Cerebral Palsy, weighing 6kgs turned our entire world upside down. We are so indebted to the Lord for this little one’s life. He is a miracle and has taught us many new things! We learnt firstly what the inside of a court room looks like, & what a parent goes through just before their child is removed from them & placed into a place of safety in SA. All I can safely tell you having seen this from the inside is that I am so glad that in the Kingdom, mercy triumphs over judgement. The gift is greater than the trespass (Romans 5). We were able to minister God’s mercy to this child’s mother, she experienced Jesus that day & wept tears of joy & pain as I told her I could never be his mother & that we would always honour & speak highly of her. We would tell him, how much she loves her son. We would also pray that He would know the voice and touch of Jesus, more than even his own mother’s voice and touch.
Then, we went straight from the courtroom to fetch this child from a state hospital where he was currently staying. I could hardly believe my eyes when we first met one another. I remember feeling God’s strong presence & absolutely no fear as I scooped him up & said: “hello, beautiful boy.” A ferocious love came over me & I remember thinking “this must be what perfect love feels like”… as there was no fear whatsoever. We went home & spent time praying for & caring for this beautiful child. We had not been given much information about our new child’s health prior to us taking him home. When we got home a local GP laughed & said “they saw you coming!”
I was so broken that night, feeding our child. Whilst holding him, I wept and cried out to God. He showed me a picture in my mind’s eye, of a young 20 something. He was a handsome, young, South African man. He smiled at me. He was perfect. I saw Jesus standing behind the young man, introducing us. He looked at me & smiled a knowing smile. He said absolutely nothing. The young man said “hello”, at which point I realised that this was the child I was now holding in my arms & this is what he looks like in heaven. I had been saying “hello” all day to our new child, in the hope that he would speak, or make some attempt to form a sound. When the man I saw in this vision, in front of Jesus in heaven said “hello,” I knew immediately this was the young boy I now held in my arms. “Hello” I replied. Then, the young man smiled, and said “thanks for bringing me home”. I understood in that moment, that our newly welcomed child was saying thank you for bringing him home to our home. But more than that, he was saying thankyou for bringing him home to a place of rest in the love of God. This encounter brought more strength to me in the weeks that followed, than I could ever have imagined.
I realise that by writing these words, I sound like I am ready to be locked up! But to be quite honest with you, I no longer care. There have been many occasions since this young boy’s arrival, when I have had the opportunity to see right into heaven. One night, after he became unwell, I was upset with God. Richie had just driven to hospital in the middle of the night with our special needs child, for the 2nd time that week. I was in our house on my own with the other 7 sleeping children. This was not at all what we had envisioned when we moved to SA. We had said yes to a “disabled child”, but we had now been given a child with a list of special needs as long as my arm. I felt like God had invited us into this situation & now when we cried out to Him to heal our child, it looked like he was getting worse. As I cried out to God in hot tears of frustration, He showed me a picture of the Father, Jesus & Holy Spirit, dancing in heaven. Jesus beckoned me to join them. I angrily pointed out that I was very tired & upset & that I felt abandoned by Him. He was smiling kindly, like He understood why I felt angry, but He continued to beckon me. I again told him exactly what I thought, without holding back… but this time thought: “I can’t see how it’s going to help, but dancing has got to be better than feeling like this..” So I turned out the lights, stood in our living room, put on some music, and began to dance. We stomped together, me and the Trinity, that night in our living room. We stomped upon all sickness, death, & disease. We danced over darkness, pain & sadness. I danced, expecting to feel more tired as I did so, but instead, God poured what can only be described as liquid love & strength into my physical body. I felt energy that I had not felt in years! I felt like I could keep dancing for a very long time. All of a sudden, I did not want to lie down & sleep, I wanted to dance. All of a sudden I knew that with the beautiful Trinity around me, together we had a joy-filled victory & all death had already been defeated. I felt alive and well and full of hope, dignity & joy.
The following week our child was in hospital, feels like a blur now when I look back. Through this boy, God taught me to dance. He taught me not to care about what I look like when I’m worshipping. He taught me to find my joy in knowing Jesus. Dancing is not a “weak” thing to do. It is warfare. When I dance in worship now, I am dancing with Jesus, over all sickness & all death. I am dancing as He releases life to the captives. I am joining in with what He is already doing in heaven. Children dance so naturally… it is easy for them & is one of the first ways they will engage in worship. When I dance with our special needs child, he is filled with joy. He finds joy in the Lord’s joy over him. He is a worshipper.
It was a huge help and blessing to have our first volunteer with us at this time. Libby’s encouragement, help & compassion was invaluable during the late night feeds and runs to hospital. Libby truly was heaven’s dew to us during this time. Thank you Libby!
On a practical note, God did bring about a lot of healing in this young boy’s body, and is continuing to do so. Looking after a child with a list of special needs can be quite an isolating situation to find oneself in. More than I could have ever imagined. Through this time we are learning afresh that Jesus is our everything & that His light actually belongs in the darkness. The darkness is dark, but the light is greater. We long to see more children like our beautiful 4th child, welcomed into homes where they are loved and cared for. We long to see them come home to their Father.
On the day after our 4th child arrived, we had a young baby arrive without a name or date of birth. He is estimated to be around 4 months now & is a complete delight. God knew what we needed, and this little boy is just pure smiles and giggles, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
The last child to arrive did so on the 9th of April. Again, we were overjoyed to be in a place where we could say “yes” to God by taking care of him, as we have since learnt that there are enough children to fill a home like ours 10 times over. Amazingly, this child carries the same name we had prayerfully considered calling Joseph at one point, and so it was already a name treasured in our hearts, before this boy was welcomed into our home. The Father knows exactly who to bring and at what time!
One of the many names of God in the Old Testament, is “El Shaddai”. In Exodus 6:3 it says: “I appeared to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob as El Shaddai.” El Shaddai literally translated means “the many breasted one”. This picture is one of a mothering God… one who nourishes, comforts and loves her children unconditionally. This name has filled me with hope over the last 2 months, that even as I reach the end of my own capabilities and limitations, God is unlimited. He is my El Shaddai. He lives inside of me. He is the many-breasted one. And He in me is the hope of glory (Colossians 1)… not me in me! I don’t have to be able to do it all… I just have to say yes to receiving the love of God on a daily basis & let Him do the rest.
This is all about Him, for Him & because of Him.
Thank you for your prayers for us during this time… God has heard & He has moved on your (&our) behalf. Oh, how he loves us & each of His kids.
Kate, Rich, Joseph & Reuben.
P.s. Regarding Mamosa, thank you again for your prayers for this beautiful girl’s life! She is now approaching 8 months old. We now know that we will be able to bring this beautiful child into our foster care with a long term view to adopt her in 3-5 years time. However, this is sadly taking a lot longer than was at first expected & currently we are awaiting a Jo’burg court date, after which (pending on the Judge’s approval, which we are trusting will be imminent!) we will be able to bring Mamosa home. We are very excited about this. Currently our Port Elizabeth Social Worker is on leave, which is the reason for the current hold up. Please pray that she will be with us as soon as possible! Thank you!
Kate, Richie, Joseph & Reuben. xxxx