Golden slumbers kiss your eyes
Smiles await you when you rise.
Do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.
Cares you know not
While over you a watch I'll keep.
Do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.
Dear Friends and Family,
Like all loving parents, I was a Mommy who loved to rock my babies to sleep with lullabies.
Especially the lullaby above! I learned that song in Grade One and fell in love with the mild
melody and those tender, soothing lyrics. We weren’t a rich family. I only owned one doll
in all of my childhood. A baby doll called “Eve”. She was so named, because she was “born”
and came to me as a present, on Christmas Eve. She was a most fortunate baby doll, indeed.
For God had already placed in my heart a profound and sacred passion for babies. Eve became
the object of all my passionate kissing, cuddling and rocking to sleep with the words,
“Golden Slumbers kiss your eyes!”
Since those days, I have held in my arms more babies than I could count, I think.
Softly crooning and coaxing them into dreamland. I love the way a baby gives that last, gentle
sigh of surrender when she is finally embraced into those soft clouds of sleep and utter peace
swallows her up into a kind of heaven.
Every baby in the world deserves such tender affection, don’t you think?
For most of us, it’s as if, at the mere sight of her, your heart and soul and every sentimental
speck in your DNA gravitates towards making all things soft, easy and comfortable for her.
That’s the way God intended it.
So I sang to my little Eve, throughout all the years of my childhood.
“Golden Slumbers, kiss your eyes!” Oh! How I loved that baby doll, and practiced upon her all
the skills I later administered to my real, live babies. My instincts told me that this was my
purpose. My intuition agreed that this was the reason God had created me.
To freely give myself; my life and all it entailed, as a love-offering from their
heavenly Father, and mine.
But then I grew in age and experience and discovered an appalling truth. It was so shocking
I could not believe it at first. The unspeakable reality was this: Millions of babies are not
welcomed into our world and into their homes and families with passionate enthusiasm.
Grannies and Granddads. Uncles and Aunties, bringing gifts of felicitation.
Brimming over with love. Inspecting every minute detail: The tiny fingers and toes. The
bulge in the cheek, the curl in the nostril, the bend in the ear, the wisp of the eyelashes.
No, these tiny morsels of humanity; God’s masterpieces,
fresh from his heaven, are an unwelcome nuisance and are rejected and abandoned.
It wasn’t long after this travesty of justice and tragedy of our human existence introduced itself
into my life ~ that I began to scheme and ponder ways to fix this blight on the soul of humanity.
From a very young age, something in the core of my heart always rebelled against injustice.
I am sure it did in yours, too. You see, I know my friends. I have chosen my earthly companions carefully,
and I know that not one of them would stand idly by whilst an injustice is occurring.
The problem is that injustice is not always obvious. It does not play out in plain sight. It happens behind
closed doors. It’s hidden by drawn curtains. The worst injustices of all are perpetrated against those who
cannot speak for themselves. The voiceless ones. And these are the ones God brings to me. The least
of the least. The most vulnerable, the most defenceless, the most frail and weak. I do not have to seek
them out. They literally come to me. You might smile at this, but I believe their angels bring them, because
their angels know, that I am the one God has chosen.
Who would hurt an innocent, newborn baby?
Nobody in their right mind.
So there must be compassion for the
perpetrators also. They are insane.
Entirely separated from their loving, heavenly Father.
I have never judged them because I don’t know them. I
don’t know the tyrannies and terrors they have had
to face in life, (perhaps in their own childhood) that caused their reason to fail and their hearts to break.
It is enough that God knows them. We can have confidence that He will judge righteously.
That’s His occupation.
And my occupation is to love and heal the tiny victims that have landed in my lap. I know that there
are more than 800 babies out there in the world who came through TLC’s doors and can vouch for
the fact that I, along with my precious co-labourers,
do our job well! Maybe you even have one or two of those precious little people in your family now, and
you can give testimony yourself.
So now, my dear friends, here is the hard part of the story. I have loved and healed,
by the grace of God, babies who had no hope. Babies who came from Hospices
so that “TLC could make them comfortable till they died.” Most of these are still
alive on planet earth, after 5, 6 or 7 years. They continue to do extremely well.
They have life, because of TLC.
I have hummed lullabies to a baby girl who was born on a train and abandoned
in an empty carriage. She was picked up by a doddery old lady who stumbled
out of the train, carrying the infant by a frail little arm and gingerly handed her to a policeman on the station platform.
The little girl is adopted now and doing well. She sends me birthday cards with authentic lipstick kisses all over it.
I have cuddled a baby who was left under a tree at birth, with his identical twin brother. The ants ate them.
The brother died. My baby is scarred for life, but he lived. He was adopted by an extended family member in
rural Kwa Zulu Natal. We’ve lost touch now, but I carry him in my heart every day.
I held a baby for many hours after he was already dead. I was so shocked that God had not heard my prayer and healed him.
He was so beautiful ~ angelic! In the early hours, peace finally came; and I accepted God’s Will. I remember the three year old
little girl who clung to life with all her might. She weighed only 5 kilos. She fought death to the absolute end. She writhed and
struggled and could find no peace. I prayed, and hummed and rocked and walked ... but she struggled, hour after hour.
In the early hours of the morning she suddenly became limp and I saw the blessed light of peace beam upon her beautiful face.
Her torturer had abandoned her in my arms, and I cuddled her for a while longer to be sure she had reached the warm
embrace of her heavenly Father.
And here, my dear friends, is the confusing part of the story. This is my life. This is the life of my entire family.
It is the life of Vivienne and my staff. It is the temporary life of our beloved volunteers.
Like our beloved friend, Lynn Heitritter once said: “Our hands are doing the work of our hearts.” Indeed, that is so true.
Nevertheless, it’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. There is surely a lot of pain involved. Physical pain. Emotional pain.
But we all continue to give it our all because those little ones give so much back in ways that could never be measured.
We don’t want to be doing anything else. This is our life and our substance. We are doing it for no reward.
Notwithstanding that, then ~ why do we have to struggle so hard to make ends meet? Why do we have to stay on our knees
so long, praying for our needs to be met? Why do we have to walk around with a begging bowl every day? Why do I have to
abandon my precious nursery, my life’s treasury, in favour of the office where I have to spend tortuous hours sending out proposal
after proposal, when only one out of fifty might have a positive result?
Many of you have “heard through the grapevine” or seen on the social network, that TLC has really been struggling for quite a
while now. This has not been a sudden thing. The downward trend has been falling for a couple of years already. Now the
situation has become so grave, that we were forced to close our nest (where the newborn babies come into) and cannot admit
any more new babies until the situation improves dramatically. Admitting babies at this stage will endanger all the other children
here at TLC, and I believe this will be very irresponsible, even though I would keep that door open if there was any other way.
The stress of this has brought me to think of an answer. My memory took me back to the way we prospered for so many years
in the ministry. Where SOS letters were rare and only occurred when there were real, unforeseen catastrophes. It never bothered
us that the Government wasn’t giving us support, or that Lotto wasn’t doing what they should, or that social workers took the
whole “profit” of the beautiful, fat babies that had been produced through our labour of love. We accepted all that because we
had a safety net.
That safety net came in the form of more than a thousand family and friends who faithfully made a small, monthly donation,
whatever they felt they could afford. It worked brilliantly for many, many years. In January, TLC will turn 20 years of age. I suddenly
came to realise how very many of our family and friends are actually no longer around. Some of passed away, mostly due to old age.
Some no longer have an income and are sitting in Old Aged Homes. Others have lost their income to the Global Financial Recession.
Many have emigrated and started a new life abroad.
And this is the reality....
HERE WE HAVE AN EMPTY COT!
We want to fill it again, but we need to replace all the people we have lost with NEW champions!
Will YOU be willing to join our great baby-saving army? Yes? I KNEW you would say that!!
So this is what you need to do to unite with us in our great baby-rescue mission:
There are already five babies who are lying in a hospital waiting for admission. We would take them right now if we could.
They are in danger of infections, lying in the hospital. We actually have TWELVE empty cots in our nursery, so once
we have admitted the 5 babies, we know it will not be long (provided the money comes in) when the other seven cots will be
filled as well. Here are the choices you could make to help immediately:
There are only TWO things you need to do that will help us immediately.
If enough people do this, we will be able to admit the five waiting babies on Monday:
1. Commit to a monthly donation of R100 every month from now on, by adopting a cot. You will receive regular updates
about what happens in that cot and you will have the assurance that you are making a real difference to the life of the little
person lying in that cot. To read more, please click here: Adopt-a-Cot. 2. Send this newsletter to as many people
as you possibly can. Make sure you explain the urgency when you do, so that they don’t just delete it, not realising
how very important this letter is.
I close this letter with a great big
I know that you all love us and
you all care about TLC.
I leave my heart and my hopes in your hands.
All my love to every one of you!