Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This Story Has To Be Told!

You know how when you meet someone so extraordinary, or something happens in your life that is so compelling, so out there that you can’t help but want to share it? How can you not! That’s how I have felt about Workinesh and her daughter Shashi. The change in their lives has been so amazing it is hard to believe unless you have seen it with your own eyes. The change has been so impacting, I wanted you to know about it too. A story like this can’t be left untold.

Last week I sat in Workinesh’s home as she made coffee and we celebrated Shashi’s 2nd birthday. We sat and reminisced, she shared her story with those that had not yet heard.

The first day we met Workinesh and her children
Baby Shashi and her twin sister were brought to us 2 years ago. They were 4 weeks old, weighing 2 kgs each. Their grandmother brought them in, she feared for their lives, she knew that they would be dead soon. We were told that their mother, Workinesh, was at home very sick and unable to care for the children. Workinesh today tells us that neighbours had stopped asking how she was, but would only walk in to check if she had died yet. Workinesh remembers laying on the bed while the children slept on the dirt floor. She waited for them to die before she did. She said that if she did not hear a noise for a while she would think ‘oh good, they are dead, it is better this way as they are starving’. Workinesh never once breastfed her babies, she was far too sick after giving birth. Their grandmother would beg from neighbours for milk for the first month, until she came to her daughter one day and said, "If these children stay with us, they are dead, can we at least give them for adoption so that they might live."

So we found the twins, their older brother and grandmother at Grace’s gate in need of much help. We visited Workinesh and found her close to death, we spoke about the medical help she needed, and about the care of her children. We offered to take the children into temporary care until she was strong enough to take them back. Looking at her, it was an obvious concern of the ‘what if’s’ that were left unspoken. There is always hope, especially when God is involved, and more than that, there can be miracles when God is involved. And over the next year we watched one in front of our very eyes. But not without loss...
Very shortly after the twins came to us Shahsi’s sister passed away. She was HIV+, and struggled to gain weight. It was a sad loss. We visited Workinesh regularly and told her of Shashi’s progress. Sister Ababu was so diligent at bringing Workinesh to all her appointments and making sure she took her meds and ate right.

I think there are 2 kinds of miracles in life, both God given and God breathed. Both are God’s amazing ability not our own. Sometimes we have to work hard to see it happen and sometimes we do nothing at all, but the outcome is always only in God’s hands. This miracle took prayer, faith, diligence and determination.

The first time Workinesh was healthy enough to hold Shashi again was amazing. Everyone present could not believe the amazing change in Workinesh, nor could she believe the amazing change in Shashi, the daughter she thought she would never hold.

Today Workinesh tells the story of when Shashi was first reunited with her, 1 year and 2 months after she came to grace. The relatives did not believe it. They had all presumed Shashi was dead or in a foreign country, never to be seen again. A huge party was thrown in Shashi’s honour, a celebration of a child that they thought was lost, but very much alive and in her mother’s arms!

To look into Workinesh’s eyes, they are full of such love, admiration and pure joy for her daughter. And there is such a sweet, sweet bond. It is a beautiful thing to behold.

I look at Workinesh’s life, and feel such honour to have met her, to have been able to play a part in keeping her family together. I see the bond of a mother and daughter, who against all odds are happy and expectant of the future, and seeing this, I know that there is hope for all of us!


Workinesh overjoyed to see her daughter Shashi.
Celebrating Shashi's 2nd birthday