Thursday, September 10, 2015

A day in my life at the Mission

Today was a day of high highs and low lows...a totally bipolar day.  My inability to switch off and go to sleep has me sitting here and trying to put into words what I find so difficult to process right now.

Today we celebrated the fact that Arno had been at the Mission for 5 years and the last 3 years he has been clean from his heroin addiction.  If you know that the success rate of rehabilitation for heroin addiction is only will understand why we are so elated and thankful.  Today Arno is part of our management team and heads up the Victory group for addicts and also counsels at the Mission.  Bianca was cute and she bought five cupcakes and put three candles on them to signify his 3 years of sobriety.  In the past years Kobus has become Dad to him and I have become his precious and I am so proud of him that my heart wants to burst.

A half an hour later our social worker walked into my office and her face and her body language told me that she wasn't the bearer of good news.  The shocking thing is that some of our 7,8, and 9 year old boys have discovered s*x and that they are active in experimenting with s*d*my between them.  They have been exposed to too much too early in life.  At an age that they should be normal little boys that should still be playing with cars, marbles and balls they have found something morally degrading to keep them occupied.  My shock and horror grew as the social worker told me that her subsequent calls to the social service departments had no results and that there is no resources out there that will help us to turn this trend around.  There is a program for the victims and there is a program aimed at teaching the children to keep safe...but there is no program that can help the perpetrators.  So now we have little girls and boys that need to be protected from these little se*ual predators.  I can't even begin to describe my feelings of utter despair.

In the late afternoon Wynand walked in with a woman in tow.  "Mamma, do you remember Desi?"   I looked at the woman and I honestly would have walked pass her in the street without recognizing her.  The once soft skinned blond girl that I knew now have the ruddy complexion of an alcoholic and her skin is tough and leathery from the exposure to harsh heat and harsh cold that is experienced by those who live on the streets.  She reeked of alcohol but I reached out to her and pulled her into a long tight hug.  She burst into sobs and her tears soaked my blouse.  Between sobs she told me that she had been raped on the streets twice...and I saw the tell tale cutting marks on her arms.  My heart broke.

15 Years ago Desi and her children moved into the Mission.  She was a timid, shy little thing and slowly we won her trust and pulled her out of her shell.  First we let her work in our clothing bank, a while later she was the leader in the laundry and eventually she became my right hand in the reception office where she was trusted with large amounts of cash.  Desi grew up in a home with an alcoholic father and mother, her siblings all became alcoholics in their teens, but Desi never touched alcohol.  Then she met and fell in love with a man that was on our rehab program for alcohol.  Against our advice she married him and the trouble started.  Desi started drinking with him and when she started she could not stop.  She is an alcoholic.  For the past 7 years she has been living on the street. 

I told her to come home.  We want to help her.  She had every excuse in the book why she cannot come yet.  We gave her a solution for each of her excuses. Eventually I realised that she loves drinking more than safety.  She loves drinking more than a warm bed and a full stomach.  She isn't ready to be helped.  So tonight I lay in bed with pictures of Desi outside sleeping on some verandah of a business.  I pray for her safety and I pray for God to give her the sense to accept the help we want to give her.

So there you have it...a day in my life.  Just one single day.



  1. Happy Sobriety Day to Amo!!!! And so sorry about the children and Desi ... my prayers will be with them....

  2. As I read your post I could see the see-saw emotions in your heart, and I feel with you. In this 'fight' you win some battles with God, and others you lose - their choice. Do not become despondent, as you cannot control other people's choices - yes, ultimately theirs. You have a heart of gold for a huge task you have taken on. This week is the week of repentance for our country. Lord, forgive our land, our leaders, and our people. Have mercy on us, and restore us to being a God-fearing nation.

  3. Big big hugs To you

    This post breaks my heart and made me cry!! On the one hand happy about the success story but then the bad just weighs heavily

    Sounds like the kind of day I had. A day of good news but peppered with sorrow

  4. That's tough, Lynette! But you DO make a difference, and please keep on doing what you are doing!

  5. Oh Lynette - heartbreaking! So glad that you did have great positives too - one of the biggest triumphs. Lots of love. You are making such a huge difference in so many lives

  6. Sjoe....never a dull day at the Mission!! But I guess it teaches one so many different lessons! So glad that Arno is still clean. As for the rest....I just pray that love and kindness will prevail...and it certainly makes me pray for my own son and all the children I know...that they may be children, safe and loved and cared for! xx

  7. I will not even pretend to say I know how you feel...I don't. My heart broke reading this post, but I will go to bed tonight and say a prayer but not have to deal with it tomorrow. Not have to live in the middle of it.. I do pray that you will know extra for the path you are travelling on... How much more does our heavenly Fathers heart break. When God called Noah to make the ark, the bible says God was grieved He had made sad is that... So He knows.. he knows...sending love...xx

  8. BiPolar ain't got NUTHIN' on a day like that, my friend. It's awful to so badly KNOW someone needs help. To WANT to help and to have to let go, cos you know they are not ready...... I hope, pray she will be ready sooner than later. Because we both know later could be too late. FABULOUS that your Arno has made it safely to the other side, though..... that must've been a buzz for him and everyone who knows and has helped him! And as for the kids. Sigh. Awful, soooo awful..... gee whizz. No wonder you sometimes need to scrap. Take care. Hope you get some sleep tonight..... xo

  9. My heart feels heavy for the people at the mission, and the load you are carrying. Big hug Lynette!

  10. O h that is so awful! All you can do now is pray for Desi. One day she will be ready. And then those children! What can I say. My heart is crying!
    But it's so good Arno has been 'clean' for so lang! That deserves a celebration!
    You have such a burden. Please don't carry it all yourself. Lift it up to Him.
    I shall be praying for the mission and for you and Kobus personally.

  11. wow Lynette you certainly face many harsh challenges at the Mission. So pleased that among the lows was Arnos extraordinary high!

  12. I kept thinking about you and the heavy load you have carry since reading this post yesterday. Sjoe, Lynette I will pray for you and the kids and every person falling off, and will be grateful for every person that manages to stand tall. Hope you have moments this weekend you can relax. Sending you a big hug, xx

  13. All I can say through my tears is ... "YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Oh I don't even have words; so I'll just respond with prayers for you and your mission.

  15. I am so very behind in reading my favorite blog....trying to catch up this week. So very sorry to hear of another hard day, I'm sure one of many, at the Mission. Praying that by now Desi has to decided to accept your offer to come sad! I have a hard time imagining the suffering that you see daily. Praying for all of you at the Mission. God Bless


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