I first met this amazing woman almost 6 years ago and remember even then being so impressed by her. As her story began to emerge over the months in my Bible study group and home visits my respect and love for her began to grow. X grew up on a local farm where she lived humbly but happily and later married a man whom she loved dearly. Together they had four sons and, though things were very tight, lived happily as a family and enjoyed the many friends living together with them on the farm. Both X and her husband were committed Christians and taught their children Christian values and ethics as they grew.

Sadly X’s husband was murdered over 20 years ago. Following that, all four of X’s sons were also murdered in separate incidents. X, together with most people on the farm, was then moved to Chris Nissen Park as the farm closed down and life was very different. Housing and living conditions were greatly reduced and the close knit community of farm life was in danger of being broken.

What faith to sustain you through the loss of 4 sons!

Most of us would probably be broken people having lived through X’s experiences. However, she is one of the people who has taught me the most during my time in South Africa. Spend ten minutes with X and you start to understand what it is like to have a relationship with God that cannot be shattered – no matter what. When she prays for you or for a situation you are literally transported into the throne room of God as she fervently asks her Father for help/intervention/healing with such total faith that can only come from a lifetime of experience of God’s faithfulness and mercy.

X remains in close contact with each of her daughter-in-law’s, 3 of whom have re-married. One of them uses X to bring up two of her now teenage children. She has done this since they were little, never giving her their child grant, instead using this to feed her drug habit. No amount of Social Welfare intervention has brought about any change in X’s living situation and she bears the hardships and heartache of raising her grandchildren as though they were her own children. Despite often not having food or electricity etc, you will never hear X complain. Instead, she will be on her knees crying out to her Father for provision.

X has lived with such a severe hip condition for years that every movement causes pain. She cannot afford medical aid in order to get a replacement and she is way down on the waiting list at the State hospital. Though only 63 years, she looks a lot older because of this, and it is further agonizing for her as she used to be an excellent sportswoman in her day! She is also severely visually impaired and we suspect cataracts. Again, despite these things, she is never prevented from getting up each morning to go and visit her patients and administer care and love as a member of the HOPE home based care team. To her, this is life – a gift from God – and something that she must cherish and use to the full.


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