'Ntsieki lived with us until March of this year while her mother was completing court ordered courses in good parenting. During the 10 months that she was with us her mother visited faithfully each week. Her English is limited but our houseparents got to know her well. Papa Revival told me that a couple times she didn't have enough money for a taxi but she would still walk the 15 km from Thabong to town so she could still visit 'Ntsieki.
In March everything was finally completed with the social workers. We had known for several months that 'Ntsieki would be leaving, but that didn't make it any less easy. It was especially difficult for Mama Selina. Having cared for an infant for almost a full year, Selina had developed some strong maternal bonds. The other girls in her house also struggled, especially young Monica. Monica is 9 and was very close to 'Ntsieki. Her crib was next to Monica's bed and every morning 'Ntsieki would wake up calling for Monica and singing some little song to her.
Those are some of the hardest times of this type of ministry. But we must ask ourselves if we really believe the theology we teach. Is God completely sovereign? Is He completely loving, unable to do anything bad? Our answer is an unequivocal YES! So while it hurts, we also know that He is working it together for good. Already we've seen some good come of it, as it opened a place for Atlehang, our new 9 year old.
The day she was scheduled to leave I went down to her house. All the other kids were in school and Selina was packing up 'Ntsieki's things. Having lived with us for 10 months, including Christmas and her birthday, she collected lots of stuff! I found Selina in sobbing while neatly folding each piece of clothing and placing it gently in the box. 'Ntsieki was sitting on the bed probably wondering what in the world was going on. It's no secret that I kind of get emotional once in awhile, and the worst of it is, I'm a sympathetic crier. When I see someone else emotional I start to choke up.
(That's why my sister Rosina is a terrible influence on me. She caused me to weep uncontrollably throughout my entire wedding. She is also the one who usually kicks things off at the airport when we leave the States. I place the blame firmly on her.)
For some reason I was able to help Selina without more than damp eyes. But, later that morning when the social worker showed up, it was my job to actually go collect the box. It was then I noticed a note that all the kids had made for her. Of course, I read the note and that's when my emotions got the best of me. I was touched by their messages to her and I thought you might be as well. Here it is: