A Big Welcome to Gladwin Zibi
Towards the end of 2016 Gladwin joined our staff. He is from Johannesburg and has great administrative skills which we are sorely in need of. He came for 6 months to see if he liked us and if we like him. Well it has been a match made in heaven and by God’s grace he is still with us this year. At first one wonders if a city slicker can adapt to rural life but he has adapted very well. He loves the mountains (and HNO can brag with a particularly spectacular one right behind us), he enjoys the quietness, crazy about animals and is even fascinated with the snakes…he actually thinks they are beautiful. (We will agree to disagree there). Gladwin has proved not only to be helpful on the admin side, but has developed a very special rapport with our children despite having no experience with people living with disabilities. Here you see him posing in front of our beautiful mountain and also so fascinated with a huge beetle he found (don’t get those in Joburg) that he had to show it to each of our children.
If I had my way I would go out with Mlu to visit our clients/friends in the community every day. I always come back with such joy in my heart for the privilege of meeting people who so bravely soldier on despite many challenges like poverty, loneliness or poor health. Here Mlu is giving one dear old lady some embrocation for her arthritic knees. I decided to take a pic with her because she and I are exactly the same age and it made me so grateful for my own knees which (so far) are functioning properly. There is nothing more humbling than comparing ourselves with those who are less fortunate.
Above is a 94 year old lady we visited. Mlu had given her some Brewers yeast some weeks before because she had complained of lack of appetite. So this was a return visit and she proudly reported that she is eating well again. When we entered her rondavel she had members of her family all around her sitting on chairs or on the bed but she was on the floor sitting on her mat, as she has done all her life. With her are her great grandsons, twins who were home from school because one of them wasn’t well and if one is not well, they both stay home. I showed her the picture I took on my phone and she could see clearly without the aid of glasses. What a privilege to meet this dignified old lady.
Talking about Mlu: Towards the end of last year one of his rondavels was struck by lightning and completely burnt down. It was the one his family cook and eat in. The stove and table and chairs and cupboards and all his crockery, pots and pans were destroyed in the fire. It was a huge loss and big setback but all he could say was to thank God that not one of his precious family was in the room at the time and nobody was hurt…We give thanks with him.
A very big thank you again to Cash and Cade from the USA who sent gifts to two of our boys (there is just nothing better than a new soccer ball) and also some money to assist with their support. Every bit helps but it is especially wonderful to experience this love reaching out to our boys from across the seas.
We continue to be very grateful to every one of you who supports our feeding scheme. This Easter we were once again able to bless our clients with a Dorcas Box of goodies, and extra mealie meal both of which were donated via Container Ministries. We were also able to distribute lovely clothing from Heronbridge School in Johannesburg. One of our disabled clients sporting his “new” very smart shirt in the pic below. Thank you to all of you.
THE GOOD NEWS IS…
The Department of Mental Health has approved the continuation of the subsidy for HNO. This is an amazing miracle as many others were not so fortunate, with government spending being drastically cut back. Without this subsidy we would have had to make some serious decisions like retrenching staff and possibly closing the residence. We are humbly grateful for their continuing faith in what we do.
AND THE BAD NEWS IS…
No, not really. Because of problems with ABSA we have moved bank accounts and would prefer to use the new Nedbank account below as much as possible but the ABSA account will remain open for quite a while as moving across takes time and patience.
NEDBANK, Current Acc: 1137582219 Branch: 134325
So until next time, lots of greetings from all of us here in Beautiful Bulwer,