During her visiting in CNP on Friday, Paula went to visit Anna 'Bop', a dear friend suffering from AIDS, who very recently became a Christian and who had been attending Paula's cell group on her stronger days. Anna was really weak, but was battling courageously. They prayed together and Paula gave her some baby porridge in the hope that she might be able to keep it down, as she wasn't able to eat anything. Sadly Anna died on Monday morning. Obviously, this has been a bitter blow for Anna's family and all her friends. Death is never easy, even when you watch someone you love slowly deteriorate. Tonight Paula went in to visit Anna's family. She has a boyfriend, Danny, who also seems to be unwell and a wonderful mother called Aunty Blaby, who Paula has been getting to know over the past few months. She is almost 65 and is a domestic worker for a white family living many km's away. Anna also has 2 young children living in CNP and another living with their father's family. Aunty Blaby has been the sole wage earner for the family for several years and despite this strain has been sacrificially walking to work and back and doing a hard day's labour for the sake of her family. She has a wonderful sense of humour and we had several laughs tonight as we remembered things that Anna has said and done since her childhood!
Please pray for this family. It is another classic case of poverty. Aunty Blaby wanted Anna to be buried by the State as the family has no money to pay for a funeral. However, Dina has stepped in and said 'no', that they will try to raise the money instead because a death certificate will not be issued at a State funeral. This is vital as, without a certificate, the State will not provide for the orphans. We are therefore looking for R2500, a small fortune from a community that has very little. The children are devastated by the loss of their mother. Please pray that they will know comfort and peace. Pray for Leonie, that she will also be completely healed from TB and for Claude (13), who is bravely trying to be the new 'man' of the family. Both of the children also attend Sunday school at our church. Please also pray for Danny, who is sick, unemployed and, as far as we know, not yet a Christian. Please also pray that we will be able to help Aunty Blaby to fill in the forms to start to claim a pension for herself and the State allowance for Leonie and Claude.
On top of all this, the family have asked that Paula lead a memorial service for Anna next Tuesday night in her home. This will be primarily for the family and for friends in CNP. Obviously, she feels privileged to have been asked, but it is quite a nerve-wracking task. Please pray that she will do the job sensitively and that God will give her the right words. More than anything though, at yet another really sad time in CNP, we are rejoicing that Anna came to know Jesus just a couple of months ago and that she is now no longer suffering.
Some of you may also remember Patrick's wife, Aunty Kuku. She also suffered a slight stroke yesterday. She is now out of hospital and back at home. Please pray for her to have a swift recovery and as she still tries to come to terms with Patrick's death.