On Saturday we were called to the front door because a new baby had been brought to us. My heart sunk because, due to funding restrictions, we had decided not to take any more babies until we got more sponsors. This was going to be a first for us. We were going to have to turn a baby away.
|His eyes just crack me up!|
Joshua is four months old and just the sweetest, chubbiest little baby. We went ahead and did the interview with the baby's family because we firmly believe that God puts each baby in our path for a reason. We have to just be obedient and follow his leading and see where He takes us.
It turns out that Joshua's mother was hanging laundry last week when she was struck by lightning. Seriously! I can't even make this stuff up. The grandmother has been looking after the baby during the funeral but she can't afford to continue feeding him with expensive formula.
We asked where Joshua's father is and were told that he went mad not too long ago. This is such a sad scenario. Young men and women develop some sort of mental illness but due to ignorance and/or lack of medical attention they spiral out of control and end up living on the streets.
|Joshua is a very healthy 11 pounds (5 kg) right now|
Things got even more interesting when we asked the grandmother why she was unable to meet Joshua's needs herself. Aside from the obvious financial burden of getting milk for him (milk will run about $75 a month) she told us that her husband, the baby's grandfather, is being implicated in the daughter's death. Remember she was hit by lightning! The rumor is that because he was actually the step-father and they didn't get along very well, he somehow he used JuJu (witchcraft) to pull the lightning out of the sky to kill his step-daughter. Afraid of the rumors and possible repercussions, he has gone on the run.
For us, taking in baby Joshua and looking after him and fostering him as he grows up, is more than just finding $75 a month for milk. We have reached a point where our current staff won't be able to look after the children safely, and well, if we add more. The nanny who takes care of the babies has three in her care already. If we added another, it would mean she was just meeting their physical needs and she would not be able to meet the emotional needs of those babies. We are working hard to not let our home become a place where children are fed and clothed but there are too many to love properly.
|Joshua with his grandmother and a cousin|
If we can hire another staff member we would be able to take in another 3 babies over this next year. This will cost $100 per month plus the cost of milk and food. So, we really need to find a way for our monthly income to grow by around $200 in order to accept Joshua into our home.
At the moment our monthly income is only providing about half of what we need to meet our budget. God has been good and provided in many different ways but we also have to be careful and good stewards of what he provides.
From the beginning, this project has been a work of God. We have merely been his hands. There is no way we could ever have done this on our own without God's amazing grace and the help of countless others who have teamed up with us to bring life and hope to the orphaned children of Africa.
Until things change, we pray that the grandmother will do her best. We gave her 2 cans of baby formula to tide her over and are praying that she uses it properly and doesn't share it with the entire family as has been known to happen.
If you feel like God is calling you to help in this situation, please do contact us.