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.
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.
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.