Friday, April 29, 2011

‎"The more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed." ~ Bishop Richard Chartres, the Royal Wedding, April 29, 2011.

Friday, April 22, 2011

People are fairly similar no matter where you go

Today I am visiting with my good friend and Oasis Haven US board member Lori Kimball, who traveled to Johannesburg last fall to visit the Oasis Haven homes. 

Lori, what prompted you to become involved with Oasis Haven?

First, I love children!  Teaching kindergarten for 20 years solidified my appreciation of little ones and the need to help protect them.  I had also partnered with a Zambian man who was helping educate and find families for orphans in his home town.  One thing lead to another in that “GOD Way” and I when I heard Beth talk about Oasis at Bible Study I was enthralled.  Later, when visiting Oasis in Joburg, the light bulb really went on, and now I’m hooked!

How did your trip to Johannesburg affect you?

The trip was surprising.  I prepared for sadness and despair, but instead found joy and hope!  True, there are an overwhelming number of orphaned children, but likewise, amazing hope for those children in places like Oasis Haven.  The kids that live in the Oasis homes are happy, fun-loving and so resilient!  We were fortunate to meet with the children’s HIV doctor, since half of the kids are HIV positive.  She explained that the AIDS epidemic is finally getting the attention and funding that it needs.  The children have excellent care and can look forward to living a long, healthy, and happy life.  Lastly, witnessing the adoption of three of the children I met in October has lead to such overwhelming joy!

Did it change you? In what kinds of ways?

Yes and no.  I’ve gained a greater appreciation for our lives here in the U.S., yet developed a love for South Africa, too.  It’s an amazing place, so indescribable, there just are no words.  I would love to go back and explore more.  I also learned that people are fairly similar no matter where you go.  We have our different customs and ways of living, but our desires are the same.

What is something about these little ones at Oasis Haven that you think would surprise most people?

Their resiliency!!  I know they have hurts….how could they not?  Yet, they appear so happy and content with their Oasis family.

What kind of difference can the average person here in the United States make in the life of an Oasis Haven child?

Any support no matter how small goes such a long way in South Africa!  The more children we can save, lovingly care for, and adopt out to “forever families” the better!  We might not save every child but we can make a huge difference for those we reach!

What will you remember most about your trip?

The faces of those beautiful kids!

Susan here: You can make a difference in the life of a child who longs for a home and a family. Join me on my Jubilee for Joburg journey! I am raising $5,000 for Oasis Haven in this, my 50th year! Make my Jubilee jubilant, would you? All the details are right here. . .

A blessed Easter to you all. . .

Friday, April 15, 2011

The latest from Oasis. . .

"A reality for all of our children is that every so often they need to make a court appearance in order for their court orders to be extended.
It is always quite a difficult time as we are not 100% sure how to fit this into their lives in a natural way. What we have found works best is to prepare them using language they can relate to so that they are not fearful before the magistrate.

Recently Khanya and Bheka needed to attend court for this reason. Before we went we spoke about how we were going to visit a lady because she wanted to see that they were healthy, happy and well-looked after.

Both Khanya and Bheka were on their best behaviour. The magistrate entered the room and immediately tried to put the children at ease. She went through all the formalities and then asked Khanya if she still wanted to live with her house mother. Khanya instantly replied, “No!” We all looked at each other and wondered at her response. The magistrate then asked her where she wanted to live.  Khanya replied, “With my new family!” Instantly we understood.

Recently she had seen two other children from her family leave to be with their adoptive families, and she was now waiting expectantly for hers. Although we try our utmost to be family to every one of our precious children we fall short simply because we are not able to offer them the permanency of adoption. Our dream for each one is that they will soon find their “new” family forever!"

Join me on my Jubilee Journey to raise $5,000 for the little ones at Oasis Haven, won't you? Let's make some dreams come true. . .Your gift is tax deductible. Address is at the right. Write JUBILEE FOR JOBURG in the memo line. God bless!