It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my Tembisa family. My life’s perspective changed in December of 2011 because of a handful of children who live close to 10,000 miles away from me. It was then when I met them and again in June, 2012.Since then I still think of them every day. I wonder if they are receiving enough food. If they are sick, being cared for, playing with friends, going to school, freezing in the winter months (opposite of our seasons), crying themselves to sleep, minding Mama and Simphiwe, do they remember me… I sure hope they know there is someone across the world praying and thinking of them every day.
A few weeks ago I was able to talk on the phone with my dear friends Dominic and his wife Moipone who have graciously said they will help with the orphanage and make sure the children and Mama are okay… I am so grateful they are there, speak the language, and understand the ways of South Africa to know what needs to be done to help Mama.Since the work we started a couple years ago, the maintenance and orphanage building have come along way. They now have a solid roof over their heads, they a washer and dryer, a stove, an oven, and warm water. Now the most important issue are the children and keeping them healthy and fed.
Many of the children have caught Impetigo again. This is a contagious skin infection that usually produces blisters or sores on the face, neck, hands, and diaper area. It’s a bacteria the kids get which can also turn into strep throat. It can be passes along others pretty easily and is just horrible. Blister like sores that bleed, itch, and puss. Very uncomfortable and awful. It’s on their faces, hair, feet, and ears. I wish I could snap my fingers and help them right now.
We have been able to get an antibiotic to the kids so they can apply this cream to the sores and hopefully ease their discomfort. Some of the kids have developed ring worm now too. The school teachers have asked some of the kids to stay home from school in fear of spreading it to other students. Which only makes things a little more harder and stressful for Mama.
One of the little ones, Shorty, broke his hand the other day. It’s been over 2 weeks now and he still hasn’t been to the doctor for proper help. He needed to be cast but he hasn’t had one yet.
Some of the missionary couples have been able to go visit Mama and continue the help we started. They were able to give me a more detailed report a couple days ago on the kids and situation.
“We stopped by this afternoon. Shorty was using his arm. The pain had been in the elbow area. Elder Dr Hoffman looked at it and said perhaps his elbow had out of joint and reduced itself or perhaps he had a break that healed in the two weeks since the fall. He did not feel anything in Shorty’s arm that would be a lasting problem.
He also looked at Essa, and several new children. Some have impetigo, some have ringworm in their hair. The little guy who had been burned by his drunk mother, Tabiso, had been dressed by a physician. Mama had stuff to redress the burned area and Memory, a neighbor, was helping out and said she would be the one to do it daily. Right now there are 18 children. There are new ones. Mpho, Nelson, Larato, Nhlanhla, Mandela, and I can’t remember the rest….
Hoffmanns and Tshabalala plan to follow up with medication and instructions.
Simphiwe was studying algebra in the library.”
I am so grateful I have eyes, ears, hands, and loving hearts over in Tembisa to give me detailed reports like that one.I can’t imagine what Mama must be feeling with all of those additional children. Not to mention Dominic just told me a few days ago there are three more new children. A five year old boy, two year girl, and a four month old baby girl too.
I am going to do my best to visit again before the year is over. I don’t know what I can do but go show my love and support to these little people who have stolen my heart.