Mums Stories: Journeys from a Place of Darkness to a Place of Hope
L’s Story ( Names kept out for privacy)
The first story is about L. On the 24th Feb Andiswa and I went out to do home visits and deliver equipment. We were just across the valley from our cottage. We met L and his mum at a designated place, parked our Kombi and set off down the hill.
Within a minute we were passed by two men who then proceeded to hold us up, and make off with my bag…. and the car. Fortunately we dropped the standing frame, which the family was able to retrieve. God was very gracious and we got the car back 30min later, undamaged but without the laptop.
As if that wasn’t enough during Durban’s flash flood this family’s entire home was washed away. They literally escaped with only the clothes on their backs and L was saved because somehow he knew to crawl out of the house before it subsided. They have lost everything that they own.
How amazing that we were able to clothe them with warm tracksuits and beanies as well as replace some linen and household goods (many thanks to the Community Chest). We were also able to give them some blankets. They were absolutely overjoyed
On a positive and unexpected note L who has Spina Bifida and is on the autism spectrum has progressed in leaps and bounds
N’s Story of Love in the Poverty
N is a mischievous little four-year-old boy who attends Khethiwe. He has weakness on his right hand side and was born blind. His family lives on the side of a steep hill in the Valley of 1000 hills and it is impossible to get in or out after heavy rain. To get to the house requires a long walk and a scrabble up the slippery slope. N is just starting to walk after surgery on his foot last year, he and his mum’s room is a tiny place in the family homestead. Grandpa spends his days ministering to those in the area who are in greater need than they are. He put it so beautifully saying:
In this home we don’t have much, but what we do have is LOVE! N’s life has been changed by the therapy he receives, he is learning to do things for himself and his horseriding is one of his greatest joys!
We have seen this little boy since he was six weeks old, when he had almost constant seizures and cried inconsolably. A clear memory of holding him in a hospital passage while his mother wept in sheer desperation. As a young toddler his doting family kept him inside, even the neighbours didn’t know there was a child who was disabled in the family. We started treating him at four months and in a group counseling session we and the other mothers encouraged his Mum to take him out and meet other people. Six months later SM had become. the neighbouring kids’ celebrity friend as they fetched him to play in a wheelbarrow. (He had a pram, which was too small.)
Counseling, peer support from the other Mothers a safe haven to come to every month at Khethiwe and a wheelchair have turned SM’s life around. He is now a happy mischievous six year old known loved by all his community!
K is 28 years old and severely disabled. She is our honorary child. Unlike many children who come to Khethiwe from babyhood, Kh’s path only crossed with ours seven years ago. She lives alone with her mum, who has sacrificed everything to look after her. Before this Kh had never had any therapy at all and was as stiff as a plank. To be honest with you, we didn’t think that therapy starting so late in life would have a great impact…. But it has. Kh can now move more freely, she is happy and engaging and because her body is less stiff she can be sat in a specialized wheelchair and is so much easier for her mum to manage. Coming to therapy is the highlight of her month, she loves it. From our Christmas party Kh received a pair of takkies. She loved them so much that she refused point blank to go to bed until they were back on her feet. Her mum B has very little support and no one at all to leave Kh with, but coming to Khethiwe has given her hope and encouragement and she is a member of our board, and goes out of her way to support the younger mums