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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Every 12.2 days we are receiving a baby ... help!


This week Baby George arrived at the El Roi baby home brining our children count to 89.  George’s addition means that we now receive an abandoned, or child in need, every 12.2 days, which also means that at this rate we will have 265 children living at Project Canaan by the year 2020. 

Baby George born February 22, 2015.

This week we also had a team of volunteers here who are helping us finish a building called Emseni East.  It will be the home for our toddlers to move up to (since the toddler home is now full past its designed capacity) and they will live there until they are finished high school. Thank you to each and every one of you who came so far to help make this home extraordinarily beautiful for our children.


As we review our plans for the future and the rate at which children are placed with us through the Social Welfare Department, we realize that this Emseni East building will be full by the end of 2015, and we will need to have the next building, Emseni North, completed in the early part of 2016.  YIKES!!

Before you take a peak at some of the beautiful photos from the hard work the team did this week, please consider giving to the Emseni North building campaign.  We need to raise $300,000 and have $120,000 raised to date and are starting to build in faith.  Even if you can’t give today, but could pledge money by the end of the year, that would be awesome.    

The link to give is: US:  http://bit.ly/EmseniNorth  and in Canada:  http://bit.ly/EmseniNorthCA
If you want to make a pledge for 2015, please email me directly at janine@heartforafrica.org.

Now, for some fun photos of today’s unveiling!

Six foot mosaic done at the floor of The Oasis Dininghall.

Joshua and Ben are first up on the new bunk beds.

Rose, Gabriel and birthday boys Malachi and Matthew.



Girls room.

Boys room.

Live from Swaziland ... I am thankful.

Janine

Saturday, February 21, 2015

If you don’t have any way to prove that you exist, do you exist?


One of the many challenges we face here in Swaziland is trying to manage payroll on a monthly basis for 240+ workers.  Everything is done manually including work attendance, sick days, days off, hirings and firings.  At the end of each month, each Supervisor provides Ian with a list of names and payment owed for that month’s work.  Total payroll is calculated and then Ian drives to town (about an hour away) and goes to the bank to take out the cash (with a specific number of each bill and coin needed) and then comes back to begin the laborious job of putting the exact amount of money in each envelop. 


The last Friday of each month is Pay Day and it’s a half day of work.  Each person lines up to receive their envelope and pay slip.  They take the money out, in front of their Supervisor and a witness (usually one of our volunteers), and then they count the money to insure it is correct, then sign a paper saying that they received that amount. 

Every person leaving the farm is known to have cash on them, thereby putting them at risk and when they get home they need to hide the money well from children and others who are in need.

This was driving Ian CRAZY and after hiring a new Book Keeper/Administrator he tasked her with finding a new payroll system and implementing it. One month later, we have a new system ready to roll!

Here is the interesting part … the new system requires everyone to have a bank account so that we can directly deposit the money in to their account (thereby eliminating all of work listed above).  Out of our 240+ workers, only eight (8) already had bank accounts.  We brought a representative from the FNB Bank out to Project Canaan to help get everyone signed up with an account. 

This was a very interesting exercise for two reasons. First, there were many people who were concerned that the money would go in to their account and then just disappear (where to, they did not know).  Education and reassurance was important.   The second was that in order to get a bank account you have to have a Swazi ID card, which is the most basic form of personal identification that someone can get in Swaziland.  More than 30% of our workers did not have a Swazi ID card, therefore they had no personal identification of any kind.  It took each of them several trips to town and full days waiting in line to get a Swazi ID card.  Many of them had to first apply for a birth certificate (requiring signatures from their local Chief to prove that they were actually born there) and then once they had that they could apply for the ID card.

Imagine being an adult with no Identification papers?  Many of our workers cannot read or write so their signatures are made with a thumb print with an ink pad.  

I have learned so much in the past 10 years of working in Swaziland, but many days I feel like I have just scratched the surface of my knowledge of how things work here.  The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.

We believe we made progress this week and next week’s payroll will be simpler and much more efficient.  But to me, the greatest thing that came out of all of this was that 65+ people now “exist” officially here in Swaziland.

Live from Swaziland … living and learning.

Janine

PS Since I don’t have any good photos to go with this blog I will just shamelessly promote three new items in our gift shop that are hand made here at Project Canaan.  As always, 100% of the profit goes directly back to help the children who live at Project Canaan.  The link to shop is https://squareup.com/market/heart-for-africa

Egg holders - the perfect Easter gift.


 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sometimes, love hurts.


Samuel and his new baby sister Samantha
This week I got a call from Social Welfare and I greeting him with, “How are you?”.  His response was, “Not good mom, I am not good”.  That is a fairly common answer when he calls me, because he is not calling with good news … ever.

He asked me if I remembered a baby who was placed with us by the police in 2013 and he gave me the surname.  Yes, I knew that baby, it was Samuel.  Samuel’s father was a refugee from the Congo and his mother was a Swazi woman who was a drunkard and kept leaving Samuel in the market, on the side of the road or wherever she placed him in a drunken stupor. 

I remember getting the call from the police asking if I could come and help at the police station because it was 5PM and they had a man who didn’t speak English or siSwati, but he was asking them to take his baby whom his girlfriend had left in the town market.  (Up until that time I didn’t travel with a diaper bag and formula at all times, but because of that day I do now).  The baby was screaming from hunger and the cloth that was wrapped around his waist was soaked.  The police said that they had to investigate this situation, but I could I just take the baby for the night and help them out?  I did, and took Samuel home to be bathed, fed and loved.

Samuel - November 2013.

The next morning I was called by the police to say that the mother had arrived at the police station frantically looking for her baby. She was sobbing and wanted him back so badly.  Lori Marschall was with me and we got in the car and “returned” the baby.  The mother was given a stern warning by the police, we prayed for the safety of the baby and handed him over, truly fearing for his life.

Returning Samuel to his mother.
One week later Samuel’s mother left him on the side of the road near Manzini and ran away (not to be seen again for many many months).  The baby was placed back in our care permanently and the refugee father signed the papers putting the child in to our care.

That was the baby that the Social Welfare officer was asking me about.  And the reason he asked was because Samuel’s mother had just been found again living on the street, this time with a 9-day old baby girl.  She was reported to the police and together they went to the homestead to investigate the situation and see if they could find a family member who could take the baby and help the mother.

Sadly, they learned that this 33- year old woman had lost both her parents when she was young, and had been raised by her paternal Grandfather, but also that had spent most of her life living on the street or going from man to man for food, and love.  She is HIV positive and this baby girl was her 7th child: two are dead, two are living with the Great Grandfather, one is living with his biological father’s family and Samuel is living at Project Canaan. 

I drove to town later that day and met with the mother and an Uncle, who was very unhappy about the woman’s behavior and begged for our help.  As we sat in a government office (that was at least 90F), the Uncle and the police told story after story of this woman’s life.  The whole time she sat quietly while tenderly caressing the baby’s tiny fingers and examining the baby’s face for small flecks of dirt.  She loves that baby.  I brought my iPad with me with a Christmas photo of Samuel on it.  I asked if it would be appropriate to show her the photo and I was told “yes”.  When the police officer showed the mother the current photo of Samuel, she immediately broke down and wept.  She loves her son. 


Today is Valentines’ Day, which is not a day that is celebrated around the world, but in North America there is a plethora of red and pink hearts, fresh flowers, chocolate and lovely meals.  It is a day that we are reminded to be intentional about our love for others.  It is a day that we celebrate love and the people whom we love.

The police, Social Welfare and the family of Samuel’s mother truly believe that the best way to protect and LOVE the baby girl was for her to be placed out of harms way and in to the loving care of the El Roi Baby Home.  We have named her Samantha.  The mother will be getting a tubal ligation (funded through my Compassion Purse) and we pray that she will stay in the homestead where her other two children live, and not run away again to a life of addiction, prostitution and hopelessness.  I wish I could say that I am hopeful, but there is nothing I can do for her.

As you celebrate your loved ones today, please remember those who love, but are hurting.  They are all around us, not just in Swaziland, but all over the world.  Today I am reminded that Jesus is love, and He will never fail us even when people do.  I hold on to that knowledge as I head down to tell our babies and our Aunties how much I love them all.

Live from Swaziland … let us love one another.

Janine

PS – An important side note:  women in Swaziland, no matter what their age, do not have the right to choose a tubal ligation (having her tubes tied).  In order for that to happen a Senior male member of her family must go to the hospital and sign the papers stating that the family agrees that she will no longer be having babies for the family.  I hope I don’t get in trouble for writing this, but it's the truth.  Some hospitals require a letter from a Doctor at a Psychiatric Hospital saying that the mother is mentally insane, which is the only “acceptable” reason for them to tie her tubes.  We still have some work to do here.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

I spent a full day in a Taiwanese hospital


Today is Baby Deborah’s 2nd birthday.  If you haven’t read her story, please take a moment and do that now (http://janinemaxwell.blogspot.tw/2013/02/its-tuesday-night-newborn-dumped-baby.html).


This week I had the most incredible experience in a medical facility that I have ever had in my life – well, “GOOD” experience that is. This is not a typical blog for me, but for you “die hard” readers, as well as people who are frustrated with healthcare in their respective countries, I think you will appreciate my day on Wednesday.

Now that we live in Swaziland we no longer qualify for free healthcare in Canada and we don’t pay for health insurance in the US.  Our options in Swaziland and South Africa are minimal at best and scary at worst.  Taiwan has an excellent reputation for excellent healthcare at VERY affordable prices (relatively speaking).  So, I knew I would have a day off during my week in Taiwan this week and decided to go and get some things checked out.  You know, those medical things that you would go and consult your family doctor about and she/he would likely send you to run some tests.

Depending on the country you are in it might take weeks or months to get all the testing done and the price would range from $0 to many thousands of US dollars. 

On Wednesday my friend Teresa Gibson and I went (at her recommendation), to the Jen-Ai Hospital in Taichung. It’s considered a small regional hospital, and I LOVED IT!  Can you believe I am saying that I loved a hospital experience?  Here is why:

·      We arrived at 10AM.
·      We were greeted by a man named Mark Chan, who was like our personal “Concierge” for the day.  He never left our sides and helped us quickly navigate a new hospital with most signs being in Chinese.
·      Between 10 AM and 12 noon I saw two specialists, had a chest X-ray, EKG, full blood work workup, weight/height/BP, a couple of “procedures” that included the words “just take off your clothes right there” (won’t go any to any details for fear of losing my male readership, but ladies … email me if you want the rest of that story – hilarious).  I passed all tests with the final word from the Doctor being “Go exercise”.   Bahahahahaha.  Good solid advice.
·      Between 12 – 2 PM everyone stops for lunch, and this two-hour break includes a 30-minute nap, that is culturally accepted and encouraged.
·      Teresa and I went out for the most delicious noodles and came back to the hospital in time to get a 20-minute back massage from the blind masseurs (apparently every hospital has an area for massage and it is typically employed by blind people).

·      Between 2PM and 5PM I saw an orthopedic surgeon (having some never-ending back problems), had another X-ray, MRI, more blood work, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan and some medication to make me more comfortable when necessary.  I left with a CD with my x-rays and MRI.
·      At 5PM my new BFF Mark hailed a taxi and we headed home for dinner.
Other options that I didn't take advantage of (!).
This whole day cost me no more than $600 US.  I never sat and waited more than 4 minutes (they have an outstanding number system) outside of an office, never once felt rushed, always felt that the Doctors were concerned about me and wanted to help AND I got a 20- minute back massage!

Taiwan spends 6% of the total GDP on healthcare.  As a comparative, Canada spends 11.6% of the total GDP and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States spent more on health care per capita ($8,608), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (17.2%), than any other nation in 2011.

I am not making a political statement, nor am I trying to stir any pots. I am just saying that I had a GREAT day at the Jen-Ai Hospital in Taichung, Taiwan on Wednesday and would recommend them to any International patient who was looking for affordable and excellent care.

Live from Taiwan … heading home to Swaziland today!

Janine

Saturday, January 31, 2015

This blog was written for me. Fear? Yep.

Banner outside the front door of the Morrison Academy in Taichung.

What are you afraid of?

It seems that in the past few weeks I have had more conversations than usual about fear, and I am not a fearful person, so I typically find them quite interesting conversations.

I had dear friends come to Swaziland recently who were afraid (no, terrified) of snakes and didn’t want to open the windows of their room in the 101 F weather for fear that the snakes would come in.   I have spoken with High School Seniors who are afraid of not getting in to their #1 choice of College or University – how could their 2nd choice possibly be okay?  Tonight I had a conversation with a friend about the fear of loss … losing everything we have worked so hard to gain – “what if I lose my house, my influence, my 401K?”  Of course there is the usual fear of failure, fear of disappointing others and fear of the unknown that has crept up and snared many friends and family members in the past few weeks.

“Do not fear, for I am with you… 

Today I had a meeting with a dear friend who travels to Swaziland every year with a group of students.  Today he told me that he would not be traveling in 2015 because the people who sponsor the trip financially are afraid of the students getting the EBOLA virus.  The driving distance between Swaziland and Sierra Leone is more than 6,000 miles and you would have to travel through 13 different African countries to get there, any yet there is fear.

“Do not fear, for I am with you…”

I am writing this blog for myself today.  I am in Taiwan right now as a guest at the Morrison Academy School in Taichung.  I am a Speaker at Spiritual Life Week from Monday to Friday next week and it just so happens to be Chloe’s last Spiritual Life Week of her High School career.  Now, THAT is something to fear!  I am to stand up in front of hundreds of kids at Christian school whose parents are “real missionaries” and share the word of God.  These kids have parents who have been beaten up by the Chinese Mafia for fighting against Human Trafficking, they translate the bible into new languages, they plant churches in China with hopes that the church will not be discovered by the authorities, AND have had to learn a foreign language in which to do all of these things!  And I am to pass on a message that will be meaningful, memorable and from God.  Ugh! 

Isaiah 41:10 says,  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “

Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I will claim both of those scriptures today as I prepare for God to use my voice and my life experiences for His work and His purposes.

What are you afraid of today?  Will you join me in claiming the two scriptures above and trust that “God’s got it”?  (That one was for you Sandy and Donald Wise).

Live from Taiwan … I am not afraid.

Janine

PS I am also thankful that I was here for Chloe's "Banquet" and got to take photos before she headed out.  

 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

One year ago today I was accused of being "too soft".

 
Happy 1st Birthday Jerry!  We love you!

Last year on this day I was asked to step out of the delivery room when this little boy was being born. I am so thankful that I refused. Today is his 1st birthday so I celebrate him by re-posting this blog. If you haven't read it before, please do. I really am "too soft" :)

“Madam, you need to step out of the delivery room – you are too soft.” 

January 25, 2014 Blog post

I am not sure that I have ever been called “soft” if my life (except for maybe my waistline).  But I was judged harshly and labeled severely by two nurses last night in a labor and delivery room at a local hospital in Swaziland.
It all started at 7:30AM when I dropped off one of the young woman who lives at the Kibbutz at the bus stop to go and have her last prenatal appointment before her expected due date of February 3rd.  For the sake of privacy I will call her the Girl. I was heading north to deal with a very serious family situation with one of our new children and the Girl was heading south to her appointment.  Almost five hours later I was finished my run around and was heading home when I got the call.  My Girl was in labor!  I was traveling with my longstanding partner in adventure, Susan Page, and so we dropped off the first baby at home and headed south to see how the Girl was doing.  The rest of the blog is a likely poor attempt to explain what childbirth in a local hospital in Swaziland looks like. 

I promise you that I would rather not relive it in order to write it, but to honor the Girl and all the other women who have given birth here and will in the future I will put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and share my experience with you.  They are heroes.
First let me say that this was a nice hospital. It is government run, but is clean, tidy and reasonably new.  Women in labor either walk to or are dropped at the front gate and picked up a day after the baby has arrived.  No one is encouraged (or allowed) to stay with them, walk with them or wipe their brow.  They are on the long and painful path of the unknown, alone.
The women are told to go find their post-delivery bed and put their bag of clothes on the bed.  They then take off their street clothes and wrap a cloth around their naked body, usually a piece of Swazi cloth or a flag-like material.  Then they wait. As labor comes on they move from the hallway to the floor.  From the bathroom (with no toilet paper, soap or doors that lock for privacy) to the outside entrance area where there are bushes with freshly washed underwear hanging to dry.  Vomiting ensues and the pain continues.  There is nothing for the pain and no chance of avoiding the inevitable – the natural delivery of a baby with no epidural or other reprieve.
When the mother feels like she is in full labor she walks down to the “Labour Ward” and lies on one of four beds, her “private area” facing towards the entrance of the main hallway (with no door on it) and waits for the nurse to come and do a pelvic exam to see how far she has dilated.  Until the baby is ready to “crown” she must stay out of the labor ward except to be checked.  When she enters for her examination she is given a disposable sheet to so that she does not dirty the heavy plastic cover on the bed and is reminded to keep that with her at all times as she will only get one of them.  Several times yesterday I found my head spinning when I walked down that hall and glanced in that room, only to see women spread-eagled with nurses determining their fate (or expected time of their baby’s arrival).  Not something I need to see again.
With hours of pain and agony behind us, we thought for sure that the baby was ready to come only to find that the mother had only dilated 3 cm. We were back to the hallway to watch these young women writhe in pain while we white people measure the length of contraction on our iPhones.  Surreal.  I digress.
When it looks like the woman (or Girl) is about to pass out from the pain or asks you to have a C-Section because she can’t stand the pain any more, it is time to go in to the Delivery room.
The Girl asked me if I would go with her in to the Delivery Room.  Why? Because the other women who live at Project Canaan told her that if you scream or cry out at all, the nurses will beat you. She thought that if I were there maybe they would not do that to her.   Against my better judgment I agreed. 
PG Rating on the rest of today’s blog.
I followed her in to a stark white room with three delivery beds, all facing directly down the hallway for the world to view all that was going on (!). She went to the far bed, which provided the most privacy.  She removed her cloth and crawled up on the table, butt naked.  There was another naked women on the bed next to her who looked dead (she was not).  I am not sure what stage of labor she was in, but I suspected from the gurney waiting outside the room that she was waiting for a doctor to arrive to head to the operating room for a C-Section. Doctors don’t deliver babies here, nurses do all that work.  Well, the pregnant women do all the work, really.
The Girl handed the nurses the cloth she had been carrying around with drops on it from prior examinations. She lay on the hard plastic bed, again, totally naked and the nurses showed her how she was to pull up on her own legs when she felt a contraction coming.  There were no stirrups.  She looked at me and was terrified. She said, “Auntie, I can’t do this!”
I assured her that she could do it and that it was almost over.  The baby would be here in minutes and she would be ok. I rubbed her arm, held her hand and squeezed tight as she took her first attempt at pushing the baby out.  It was then that I was asked to leave the delivery room.
“Madam, you need to leave the delivery room,” the nurses said.
“Why?” I asked with surprise.  I was doing a great job of keeping the Girl calm and hopeful.
“Because you are too soft,” both nurses said at once.
What?  ME too soft?  I quickly backed up against the wall and held my ground explaining that I had promised her that I would be there for her.  And then I said,
“And if I leave her, you will beat her.”
They laughed out loud, totally agreeing that my accusation was correct. Then pointed to the hallway where I was to wait. Timing was good and another contraction came along so we all focused back on the pregnant one. They told the Girl to pull up and hold her legs and could see that the head was there.  Without giving me a chance to look away they took the end of a scalpel (i.e. a razor blade with no holder), did the episiotomy and then told her to push again. 
Up until that point I was so overwhelmed by everything going on that I failed to question why one of the nurses was standing up on a stool beside the table.  I looked at her and saw that she was there to push down on the Girl’s belly and help push the baby out. She pushed with both hands, and all her might, but the baby wasn’t coming.  They paused.  I stayed quiet and the Girl and I looked at each other. The next contraction came, and the same thing was repeated over and over again.  After some time the baby come slipping out (with a long skinny head from the birth canal) and we saw that he was a perfect baby boy. That was a surprise because the ultrasound told us to expect a girl.
The worst was over, the placenta was delivered and I stepped out of the room with the baby just in time to miss the stitching up of the Girl.  All of this was done with no pain medication or anesthesia.  She didn’t scream, or cry out even once.  And as I write this I am still amazed at the fortitude and courage of this terrified 17-year old girl.  
The plan was and is for this baby to live at the El Roi Baby Home. The child was conceived by rape and the Girl wants nothing to do with the baby.  She moved to the Kibbutz to avoid gossip and hopes to leave us once she has healed so that she can go back to school.  We named the baby “Jerry” in honor of Captain Jerry Coffee who is visiting us this week (his wife is Susan Page, who was with me through this life-changing event).  Jerry is a loving, caring, kind man and a hero to us all.

Yesterday was another tough day in Swaziland, but much easier for me than all of the women around the country having babies.  I have never liked being called names, but being “too soft” to a young girl in active labor is a name that I can and will live with. 
My prayer today is that a spirit of compassion will wash over this nation so that we can all look at each other softly and help one other rather than just “doing our job” and getting it done.  I hope that I can be the first to make that change in other parts of my own life. 
Live from Swaziland … Baby #50 has arrived!
Janine
PS - the total cost for labor and delivery of little Jerry was $3 USD.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The little boy from last week's blog...(warning - graphic photos included).


Last week I mentioned a little boy and showed a photo of him lying in the hospital.  He is now 13-months old and he weighs 6.1 KG (13.5 lbs).   Just after I posted that blog I asked the Doctor how the baby was doing and he responded that the child was not doing well, but he was hopeful that he would live.  He also said that he had just spent two hours with the young girl who was sent by the family to look after the child and he learned that the story that had been told to the hospital was all a lie, but the young girl was afraid and ashamed. 

Here is what we believe to be the truth.

Originally it was reported that the mother of the baby had died, the father had run away (a very common story here in Swaziland), and that the baby was being cared for by a very old Grandmother, who was also very sick. When the baby got sick the family/neighbors (unclear who) sent him to hospital with a young 17-year old girl to care for him.  The cost was almost $10 for public transportation as they live so far out in the rural community. 


As it turns out, there is no Grandmother (she is dead) and the 17-year old is the mother to the sick baby.  We don’t know who the man is who impregnated her at the age of 15, but we know that she had no milk for the baby and only fed him what she herself was eating … mostly ground maize once day if she was lucky (similar to grits, but without the butter or salt).  As the baby neared his first birthday he was getting quite fat and so the young mother thought he was okay. Then his skin started to crack and split and he got very sick and unresponsive.  It likely took weeks for her to find/beg/work for the $10 to take him to the hospital and by the time they arrived he was almost dead … from starvation.  


It’s called Kwashiorkor, and his body appeared to be fat due to extreme edema (swelling), which caused the skin to literally split open.

According to http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/kwashiorkor.aspx,  “Kwashiorkor is one of the more severe forms of protein malnutrition and is caused by inadequate protein intake. It is, therefore, a macronutrient deficiency. Children are most at risk due to their increased dietary needs. Inadequate caloric and protein intake manifests itself with certain physical characteristics. Symptoms may include any of the following: failure to gain weight, stunted linear growth, generalized edema, protuberant (swollen) abdomen, diarrhea, skin desquamation (peeling) and vitiligo (white spots on the skin), reddish pigmentation of hair, and decreased muscle mass. Mental changes include lethargy, apathy, and irritability. Physiologic changes include a fatty liver, renal failure, and anemia. During the final stages of kwashiorkor, patients can experience, shock, coma, and, finally, death.  Treatment of kwashiorkor begins with rehydration. Subsequent increase in food intake must proceed slowly, beginning with carbohydrates followed by protein supplementation. If treatment is initiated early, there can be a regression of symptoms, though full height and weight potential will likely never be reached.”


Clearly this child was not treated early, but the Doctor is hopeful that he will live.  His development is significantly delayed and much of the developmental damage cannot be reversed.  He will likely be in the hospital for several more weeks until the edema is completely gone and his overall stat are stable.  

The story of the young girl broke the Doctor’s heart and he is seeking help with the Social Workers on her behalf. She has only gone to Grade 6, and even then she does not speak any English so we question whether she has ever been to school at all.  There is no one at her homestead who can help provide for her or her child if she goes back and so we have been asked if we can take the child when he is ready for discharge.

It’s complicated.  Nothing is easy. Oh how I wish we could help the young 17-year old, who doesn't speak English and help her baby. Oh how I wish we could help ALL the babies and young girls who are suffering here and around the world, but we can’t.  We are waiting to hear whether the child will be placed with us or not, but in the meantime we pray for this child, and for the small child that she is caring for in the hospital.

Live from Swaziland … I am on my knees today, please join me.

Janine

Update Monday morning:  I got a call from the Charge Nurse in the Children's Ward at the hospital. She called the Heart for Africa office and the message was passed on to me. When I reached her 30 minutes later she said that the reason she had called was to ask if I could bring more diapers in for the baby, but unfortunately, the baby just passed away a few minutes before I called.  I am in shock.  One of his organs failed, I assume it was his heart.  He is with Jesus now, but he will not be forgotten by anyone who has read this blog, and for that I am thankful that I had the opportunity to share about his short life. His name was Sinethemba, it means "faith".