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Monday, April 9, 2012

Rosie

In late February we had a new arrival at The Village.  Sonti Rose is 13 years old and was in grade 7 at Aurora Primary School, one of the better public schools here in town.  She had been living with her grandmother, but the granny just grew too frail to be able to care for her.

Rosie's situation is unique from any other we've dealt with.  According to what we have been told, her mother was educated, employed, and relatively affluent.  This gave Rose some advantages that none of our other children have enjoyed.  Although living in Thabong, Rose was able to attend Aurora School in town because her mother could afford transportation.  She came with plenty of nice clothing, her English is fantastic, and she carries herself differently (for better and worse) than other children from less advantaged backgrounds.  In fact, just the other day she and I had this conversation:
Rose:  "I would like to have my birthday at the casino this year"
Louis:  "Excuse me?"
Rose:  "Last year I had my birthday at Spur (a nice restaurant in town) and this year I would like to have it at the casino."
Louis:  "So you're turning 18 this year?"
Rose:  "No, but they have a place for children to have parties so we can have it there."
Louis:  "How much does it cost?"
Rose:  "Maybe R2,000?"  (roughly $250)
Louis:  "Rose, I've never even had a birthday party that cost R400 ($50), so I don't think you're going to get a party like that.  That's not the way we do things."
Rose:  "Can we talk about it again later."
Louis:  "Sure, but I don't think that will change anything."

You might ask why she is living here if she comes from such a relatively privileged environment.  The problem was that in addition to her affluence her mother was also promiscuous.  It calls to mind the warning of Proverbs 5:9-11.  The man (or in this case, the woman) who chooses an immoral lifestyle will lose any sort of wealth they have accumulated.  Once Rose's mother became ill they lost everything.  That is how she ended up living with her elderly grandmother.

The fact that Rose comes from a different background hasn't seemed to greatly affect her transition to The Village.  Her housemother, Mama Selina, actually worked with Rose when she was in preschool at the creche Rose attended.  When Rosie arrived at The Village the first day they recognized each other and embraced warmly.  (That is a testament to the type of woman that Selina is, because you wouldn't see that type of reunion with most people, as few in the childcare industry have any real affection for the children.  Usually it is just a job for those people.)  There was one day early on when Rose came to me complaining that Monica, our 8 year old resident cutie-pie.  According to Rose, Monica wasn't showing her the respect she thinks she deserves as Monica's "elder".  A quick conversation pointing out  to Rose that she is a child, not a staff member sorted that out.  Other than that, our few minor bumps in the road have been nothing more than you would expect with any child.

It became evident the first week at Bible Study that Rose has been exposed to the Gospel on some levels.  She knew all the answers to most of the Bible stories.  She knows who Jesus is.  But the religion she comes from is one that has taught her to follow certain rules in addition to Jesus.  And we know the Bible teaches that the cross of Christ is sufficient.  To this point, Rose hasn't personalized the salvation offered by Christ, but we are confident that God has mighty plans for her.

Please pray for Rose as she continues her transition to The Village, for our houseparents and staff as we work to shepherd her heart into the things of the Lord, and most of all for her to enter into a relationship with God and with His Son.



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