Lehlohonolo (meaning “Lucky” in Sesotho) came to us in February 2007. Prior to living with us his life had seen much transition, but he has shown himself to be quite resilient and adaptable.
The Pines first learned of his situation through Morningstar, a sister organization with whom we work closely. Morningstar is a Christian Daycare that works with HIV+ children from the poorest backgrounds. Lehholonolo lived with his mother until the age of 4, when his mother died. He then went to live with his granny for a few weeks, but his granny is an alcoholic and was unable to properly care for him.
A volunteer at Morningstar took Lehholonolo in and cared for him for some time, but the granny became upset and began to torment this lady and her family. It was then decided that he could no longer live with her and he was briefly transferred to this lady’s mother for care. It was at this point that he came to live at The Pines.
Lehholonolo has proved to be quite intelligent and his English is the strongest of any of our children here. He picks up on things very quickly and has earned the nickname “Mr. Mimic”, as he will copy anything you say. This annoying habit has probably been largely responsible for his grasp of the English language.
While he is one of our brightest children, he also struggles in school more than most of our kids. We suspect he has dyslexia and because of this never built a good foundation. He has taught himself how to do most of his schoolwork without reading, but because of this has built some habits that need to be changed. In the last 6 months we have begun to focus on some intensive reading skills for him and have seen tremendous growth. Last term he made honor roll for the first time at school and he is working to make it again this term.
Leadership comes quite naturally to Lehholonolo, and most of the kids here look up to him. He has a strong mischievious streak, so sometimes that isn’t always the best thing, but usually he sets a good example for the other children.
Lehholonolo has struggled with various health issues from shingles, eye infections, to colds and allergy symptoms. He misses several days of school each term, and this frustrates him. He is very friendly and it is difficult for him to be isolated for entire days at the hospital. When Lehholonolo is struggling, it is surprising how much that affects our other children here. The entire demeanor of The Pines will change when he has a bad day.
Like all our children, Lehholonolo is learning about God. He has shown great spiritual growth and knows that Jesus Christ died to pay for his sins. He has professed faith in Him and is concerned that the other children here do the same. We trust that as he continues to be nurtured here at The Pines that the Holy Spirit will do a mighty work in and through his life. Already, as he attends church and bible study here at The Pines his knowledge continues to increase. We pray that his love for God would do so as well.