Butterfly Home in rural Zululand provides hope and healing to the most vulnerable babies in South Africa.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27
Nestled on top of a picturesque mountain in rural Zululand, hides a tiny baby home with a special purpose – caring for orphaned and abandoned babies with life-limiting conditions. Founded in 2018 by my husband Christoff and myself as a project under our Non-Profit Company, Izandla ZeAfrika, this special place provides foster care to babies from all over South Africa who are not expected to live very long and are in need of palliative care. With years of experience in rural healthcare, and bearing witness to the plight of orphans and abandoned or abused children, we felt like we had a role to play. We could never have imagined the journey which God had planned for our little family. A journey of immense sorrow and joy intertwined with the beautiful tapestry of end-of-life foster care.
Butterfly Home is a labor of love. I often explain to friends that walking into Butterfly Home is like walking on holy ground. Amidst the chaos and giggles of little ones, the remnants of abuse and trauma still fresh, amidst illness and apparent disabilities, you see God. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!
Our babies have all been abandoned or surrendered by their families and know hardship. Some of our children were found dumped in bushes or outhouses. One of our little ones came to us after her parents tried to kill her due to her Cerebral Palsy diagnosis. At the tender age of three she was so traumatized that she was self-mutilating. Starved to the point of unconsciousness, this little girl needed Jesus. She needed hope, and He was so gracious as to trust us with her care. It still blows my mind!
These precious souls come to us broken and traumatized, each with an array of special and medical needs. Each one is unique and we need to kneel before the Father and ask Him to show us how to love each baby best. With each new arrival, we have to battle our own fears and doubts, our own inadequacies, before saying yes to become their parents. Each story breaks our hearts and reminds us anew how desperately we need Jesus. But each story also beautifully displays grace.
We have a dream of making palliative and hospice care, within a loving, homely environment, a right for each child. Without a loving family to care for them, our babies are destined to live out their last days, months or years, within crowded government hospitals – just another number.
Butterfly Home can house up to six babies at a time, aged 0 – 5 years, and has round the clock caregivers and medical volunteers to meet all of their needs. The house is currently being rented from another NGO and is bursting at the seams. We have recently obtained the land right next to the current baby home and hope to raise around R500 000 this year in order to build Butterfly Centre for Infants with Palliative Needs. At this Centre our team hopes to be able to care for more babies, as well as train and manage home-based care teams who can provide in-home services to children in the surrounding Zulu villages. Half a million seems like an impossible amount to raise, but we know that nothing is impossible for the Creator of the universe. We have seen first hand how great the love and goodness of our Father is. What seems impossible to humans is nothing for God!
We would like to ask those reading this, and who feel stirred by the Holy Spirit, to please partner with us in achieving this dream. No child deserves to die alone, without knowing the love of a parent, a full belly, or the comfort of a warm bed. We need prayer warriors to stand in agreement with us and to trust for the needed funds to be able to build this much needed Centre. If you are in a position to volunteer your time or finances, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Tarryn Bell at 0712773861. Together we are the hands and feet of Jesus to a world in need. What a joy!
Date published: 07/07/2019
Written by: Tarryn Bell
Article source: Supplied