After much planning at our youth group, we had collected as many toiletries as possible. On Saturday, the 29th of October, all 15 of us arrived at Malvern Children’s Home with what we had to offer.
As soon as we entered the hall, we began to unpack the things we had brought while the children were called in. What we didn’t know was that 137 children would enter the hall creating the greatest cacophony ever possible. Excitement filled the room as the atmosphere of expectation grew. As the chaos began to escalate, our youth leader, Theo Msomi, began to speak and all of them sat down to listen.
Hanging on Theo’s every word, they listened to his life’s testimony. He gave them the Gospel and told them about Jesus, calling anyone if they wanted to give their lives to Him. Many came forward to accept Jesus, others wanted prayer.
After that, we engaged with them and gave them the most valuable possession: Our time. They laughed and smiled with excitement and joy as we played games and socialised with them.
If you had the eyes to see beyond into the pain, you would have the heart to change things.
There are 137 children but they can only cater for 120. That means sometimes they don’t even have enough food to eat. Sometimes they don’t even have toiletries. 20 children are not going to school because they have already been rejected. The government only helps them to a certain degree and after that, they have to fend for themselves by relying on sponsors who are gradually diminishing. The question is: What is the Church doing?
I had a look at the dormitories they lived in. It’s like a flat with many apartments that they share. I could see that their lives are monotonous by repetition so when they came to the hall, they came with great expectations and maybe a question in mind: Will my life be changed after this? Or will it continue to be the same?
It was strange for me because a random child approaches you and wants to sit on your lap. Or a girl sucking on a lollipop suddenly approaches you and gives you a hug. They want to be loved because they have not experienced it.
The saddest thing that occurred there was when we were about to leave and all the children headed back to their dorms. I happen to notice a young girl who never lost grip of her Christmas hamper gift bag. She had stuff in it as she headed up the stairs. But the ruffling of the crowd tumbled into her and she was pushed against the wall, grazing her arm. Her gift bag fell to the ground bursting all its contents down the stairs. She crumbled to the floor crying as I looked at what was in her bag. It was toys shaped in form of grocery items that one would buy from Checkers. She had collected these things over time and it became of sentimental value to her. I tried helping her fill the gift bag once again with all the toys but the bag was broken and this girl wasn’t going anywhere until she had all her things with her. I decided to get a packet to put all her belongings in and when i had returned with it, she was attempting to use her t-shirt to carry all her things. We deposited all her things into the packet and only then did she get up and go to her room. I then realized something, when we suffer so much loss in our lives, we tend to hold onto whatever we have left…