Yesterday my good friend, Sukoluhle, from the Inner City, phoned to say she was coming to visit us at our Hillbrow flat. I was excited because her family were one of the catalysts to our move here, and I had wanted to be closer to precious people like her, so that we could visit each other in our homes and deepen our friendship.At 2pm another mutual friend phoned me to say that Sukoluhle’s baby, aged 10 months, had just died, just as they were about to leave to visit us. This is the same baby I had visited in hospital last year who had been very sick and had almost died then from pneumonia. My kids know their kids. Hannah and Rachel have both held this little baby, Lynne, many times.
Why did she die?I believe it is poverty that ultimately led to this baby’s death. The combination of circumstances into which Lynne was born – born 5 weeks premature, weighing only 2.1kgs, to a malnourished, poor, blind, alien woman, fleeing her own country’s desperation, only to arrive in an unfriendly, unhelpful, even at times rejecting land, whose health care system many times in the last months failed to adequately respond to her needs even though she was very sick…and needed hospitalization…
At 3pm Nigel and 2 friends went to the family to pray and care for them all. It was a deeply moving experience for them, as they too saw the desperateness of this family’s situation. What should be a free burial service to the poor is now costing them R2300…
This story leaves me with many unanswered questions.
BUT…I am more than ever convinced that I, and my friends, were born for such a time as this!
So today we hosted the extended family of little baby Lynne for lunch and tea. 14 adults including us. It was wonderful to share a meal with them in an attempt to show them God’s love and care in the midst of their pain and sadness.
So we declare boldly that “Greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done…in this City!!” There is no-one like our God!!