Written by: Richard Allen and Desirae Pillay, Door of Hope
Article source: JOY! Magazine

At three years old, Thabo* was placed in the baby box, together with Sophie*, his 6-month-old sister. He soon found out there was a special song waiting for him – a song he would share with a man who had a similar story.

But Thabo didn’t understand. Why was he here? Who were all these new people? He struggled to adjust. Shannon, one of the ladies caring for him, was struggling too. How could she help him? “He’s hurting,” Shannon prayed, “he’s fighting with us and the children. He won’t even talk to us. God, please help.”

“He’s hurting,” Shannon prayed, “he’s fighting with us and the children. He won’t even talk to us. God, please help.”

Lavished with love
Thabo was moody – one moment happy and sad the next. Sophie, his sister, settled better and thrived. The care-workers continued caring, lavishing them with love, healing them with hope. Gradually, Thabo opened up and smiled more. ‘You can put it there, thanks,’ Shannon said, as Thabo helped clear the children’s dishes. He was becoming a new child and a wonderful big brother. But they needed a family of their own.
Shannon’s prayers were answered, and parents were found for Thabo and Sophie. The couple knew their story, they knew their struggles, and they knew they could stay the course.

A shadow and a song
Thabo and Sophie struggled to settle into their new home. John wanted to be an involved father, to love his children, but Sophie was unsure of him, and Thabo became very angry when he had to go to work. The new parents persevered; they understood the struggle. When John was four years old, he was also abandoned, his mother had left him at a police station, and he went to live in an impoverished children’s home. One sunny day when he was angry and crying, a loving care-worker sat next to him. “Do you see your shadow?” she asked. He nodded. “God is like your shadow; He doesn’t leave you.” She held him close and sang a song: Bambelela. A few years later, after he was adopted, if he became sad or mad, he would stand (facing his shadow) and sing the same song.

Song of salvation
Thabo continued to struggle. One day, he cried for a long while, and when he stopped crying, he started to sing a song his care-workers had sung with him. John recognised the same song and added his voice. Thabo walked over and leaned on John, Sophie joined and held John’s hand, then mom came over. The family stood and sang together, a song father-and-son now shared, the special song of their salvation: Ku Jesu Bambelela (Hold on to Jesus).

*Names and details have been shared in such a way as to protect the identity of children in our care.

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Date published: 23/07/2021

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