March 21, 2008


Psalm 84: 10
"A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else."

I write today with a heavy heart and sad news.

One of our dear babies, Irene, died suddenly during the night. Irene (bottom row, second from right) was 10 months old and had been here at Zimpeto for about 4 months. Her mother abandoned her and disappeared, so her grandparents took her in but were too poor to care for her properly. They brought her here very sick and skinny and, in past months, she had put on much weight and was doing well.

All is not completely clear yet but the doctors suspect she contracted malaria and, before there was time to treat the malaria thoroughly, many babies in the Baby House came down with a stomach/diarrhoea bug. Irene was one of these and she was not strong enough to deal with it. She died on the way to the hospital at around midnight, in the arms of Tracey, our Baby House Director.

Irene's grandparents are being informed this morning. Please pray for them and for all here at Zimpeto. Pray particularly for the medical staff and Baby House workers: Tracey, Neil and Hilda (assisting Tracey), Janni and Solange (nurses) and the tias (carers).

I sit here this morning listening to the noise of the school children having recess, playing clapping games, singing and chasing each other, preparing excitedly for an Easter long weekend. We are here to protect such as these, and it's an honour beyond words. The Baby House is a particularly precious place to be, where the littlest and most dependent of our charges live.

There is no simple way to explain the death of a baby. There is no way to fully express the fragility of life here in Mozambique. Nothing is predictable or controllable or easy. And so we hide under the shadow of the wings of the Father, continuing to move forward one step at a time, caring for each little one He has brought to us. This is all we know to do - love the ones in front of us in the moment and do our best for each.

There are 37 children in the Baby House, some strong and healthy and some fragile, sick and weak. Namais has just, in the last hour, been taken to the hospital, also very ill. Please pray for him, for all our little Baby House residents, for our team, the Baby House staff, and our leaders Ros and Steve.

Pray for the Father's covering on this most amazing of places.