As we have come to the end of this year, with our Christmas pageant and year end party behind us and everybody at home for a well deserved rest for three weeks, we have to look back at a year that was extremely challenging. We can report that we have survived to tell the tale, but we are looking forward to 2018, which will hopefully be less daunting. The post operative care of our two boys was the biggest and scariest of those challenges and we can report an improvement in both but still quite a lot of work ahead. We are deeply grateful to Sarah Gordon who came on board to assist Phillipa with guidance and hands on assistance with the expert physiotherapy we so desperately needed. We are hugely grateful to James Fernie of Uthando SA who responded so immediately and generously when we asked if they could possibly assist us with all the increased costs relating to the boys’ post op care.
We have had some very serious problems with one of the vehicles we use for transporting the children. It has been out of commission for almost two months and it has been a big battle to work out transporting schedules with one vehicle unavailable. To make matters worse we have been asked to assist with transporting our boys who attend Pholela Special School as their buses are so often out of order and the department of Education is just not coming to the party. Our MANCO board has decided to provide that assistance for the sake of the boys who would miss out on going to school if we don’t help in this area. We will just hope and pray that our vehicle woes are over by the time January comes round and that the increased fuel costs will be met in some way or another. We serve a great God , so we cling to our faith in His provision.
We have also been approached to take on a few more residents and as the present facilities are now full we have to decide if we will take the next step of increasing our service to these children who need a place to stay so that they can either attend our therapy centre or go to the Special School. It would mean moving to another level ie extra staffing and opening and furnishing another dormitory. But it is so hard to turn people away. This however, will be a decision for next year
This month we said goodbye to a faithful servant of HNO who has been with us for 22 years. Mabasi Maphanga has been our cook for most of those years, and as I noted when we said goodbye, in all the years that I have been there we have never had a case of upset tummies from food that was not properly prepared. She is not going to be easy to replace.
Our Christmas nativity play was incredibly precious and I wished we could have beamed every one of our dear supporters and friends in, just for that half an hour to witness the beauty and miracle of these children and young adults who took part with such genuine pleasure and enthusiasm and pride. Mary is the brains and direction behind this and without her very personal and loving and tireless efforts our children would not be where they are today. We have the most amazing atmosphere of joy and peace and love and Mary is largely responsible for this, although we know that without the response and co-operation of the staff this would not be possible either. Everybody just can’t help responding to Mary’s influence and rising to the occasion every time.
This year our children were spoilt beyond our dreams and hopes. Each child received three gifts to take home. Brett Rich once again gave gifts with a toy and chips and sweets to our children, Jen Stapylton Smith rallied all her friends and they wrapped another gift for each child, including an item of clothing and a gift and sweets and then to crown it all Sarah Gordon, our new physio friend who has obviously fallen in love with the children (what’s not to love??) brought a gift for each child. Chris from Ixopo Superspar donated our cake and Patrick St Pern sponsored our chips and sweets for the party. Robyn from NUD painstakingly made crackers to fill the stockings for all of us. So we were richly blessed this year and a very big thank you to all of you for your very personal love and care.
This is Nkosinathi who has been at HNO the longest. Doesn’t this picture just tell a story? I wonder what he is looking at? Perhaps into the future… into 2018? What does he see there? What lies ahead for all of us? All we know, is that God is there already waiting for us all. It is enough for us to know that.
Lots of love and blessings for the Christmas season from all of us at HNO.