The week before Easter has been a harrowing one for HNO. But just like the Easter story, it ended victoriously.
Sindi (below left), who has been at HNO for the longest, since she was a little girl from Esther Alm’s days, went missing from her home on Monday evening. She was lured away by a man, identity unknown at this stage and nobody could find her. The whole community became involved as she is well known and well loved. But everything ran into a dead end. In the meantime her mother and family were frantic, as were we all at HNO. It is the most helpless feeling and we knew that every day that went by lessened our chances of finding her. The police warned us that this is a difficult case. But many prayers went up for her, Pam Stone’s bible study ladies, Creighton Community Church members and many individuals even as far away as Cape Town, England and America were interceding on her behalf. On Thursday we received our first clue and Eric Ntuli our new manager, with Sindi’s sisters, went hunting till late at night in the Centecow area where somebody said they had sighted her. Long story short, and with Creighton Police assistance we found her at Centecow hospital where she was safe and being cared for while the staff were trying to trace her family. Some community member had seen her and assessed correctly that she was lost and unable to fend for herself and taken her to safety. God has His angels everywhere.
I cannot tell you what an emotional experience it was to see her reunited with her mother, Tolani (right) who could barely stop sobbing.
In this country, which has some of the highest incidences of child abduction, this was truly a miracle. Our God was merciful and every one of you who prayed and worried with us has a hand in this wonderful outcome. Thank you to every single one of you.
More Wonderful News
For some time now we have realized our need for a general manager who could be involved more holistically in all the work of HNO. Someone who would take over the centre management as well as grow the community work but someone who has a compassion for our disabled children. We realized that this was a tall order. Of course, we have a mighty God and He was already preparing ahead of us. At the beginning of the year we asked Eric Ntuli to come and spend a few months with us and get to know the organization in all its complexity. Eric is a qualified pastor and this is, of course, a very good start, but we also needed a practical person with a love for disabled children. It is difficult to explain in one interview what we are all about and what it entails to be involved in our work. For that reason we invited him to come in for 3 months to see if our cap fitted him and if his cap fitted us. We realized that we have very little to offer anybody in that position financially and so the job would have to be a calling in the true old fashioned sense of the word. Well both caps fitted snugly and when Carol and Neil left the centre, Eric was already in place and when our precious Sindi went missing he was there as father, brother and man-in-charge to assist, counsel, support and play the detective. We stand amazed at God’s amazing provision for us.
We welcome Eric and his family with open hearts and we thank them for being willing to become part of this work in Bulwer. Eric has a lovely wife, Zipho, who works at Christ the King hospital and three wonderful boys, Ndumiso 15, Monde 13 and Menzi 7.
Enjoying the feast at Carol and Neil’s farewell party.
L to R: Andy Munro our chairman, Eric Ntuli our new general manager, Mlu Mbanjwa, Big Boy and Sipho Mkhize.
The first quarter has been a very eventful one with lots of changes and adjustments. First of all, as you all know, Carol and Neil have moved to Pietermaritzburg, and there too, we see God’s hand as Neil had some health problems shortly after they arrived and everybody is very relieved that he was close to doctors and hospital and was quickly seen to and assisted. He is much better but could do with your continuing prayers.
We were very sad to hear of the passing of a dear friend, Monica Keevy. Our hearts go out to Jimmy and her children. Monica was administrator for HNO for many years and she did a good job and handed over a well-oiled machine.
We are hugely grateful to Mondi for a generous donation towards the work at HNO. Mondi has, over the years, been very involved in the community where their plantations are, in supporting the Shoebox project generously every year. Thank you for giving back…
Mandy Haw of Sani2C, the famous bike race that goes through this area every year has once again kindly supported our craft programme. The little bike bracelets that the riders receive are made by unemployed and disabled ladies from the community and this has been a very welcome injection into very needy homes. Thank you, Mandy and Glen.
Here Eric is helping Sibusiso, who is blind, to make some of the bracelets.