John and Bethany Arndt

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Monthly Archives: June 2010

Rent a Baby

June 14th, 2010 by | Leave a comment

Hear about the shocking reality of women renting their babies to the beggars of Johannesburg.

A Winter's Letter

June 5th, 2010 by | Leave a comment

Dear Residents of Masiphumelele,

The Cape winter is here and you know that more than any of us. You know its here because you have rain dripping in your homes, some of you right over where you lay your head; in between the slits of zinc sheets, where insulation is absent. I am sorry Nofirst, I am sorry Andiswe, I am so sorry Nosisi.  I know the water floods inside your door Sive, because your small shack is actually built on marsh land, and you have no floor, other than mud. Its brutal arrival has ripped some of your metallic roofs off, at 3am while your family is fast asleep. In the pitch of night you run into the torrential rain and you push past the southeaster gals, looking for the materials to reassemble your refuge. The children are afraid and crying, the neighbors are awoken to search for the materials that the blustery winds have swept away. Vuyiswa you are a women of strength and perseverance.

The heart wrenching fact that many of you sleep on the mildewed floors of your small bungalows, wrapping your blanket over your head so the mice and roaches don’t nibble while you rest unconscious, all because you are sheltering your sister’s orphaned children, with room for only one bed. This reality my friends,  leaves us eager to help the few of you that we can. While I live just up the road in my spacious cottage, in the security of a dry bedroom, with the luxury of a space heater, I think of you. When the wind batters my window panes all night, often with the loudness of Normandy beach and I can not sleep because of its volume, this too is when I think of you.

I see many of your faces, and I see many of your children, our children. I see Abongile, I see Maliaka, I see Loleta. Just because you are used to it, because this is normal, does not mean its right. So we wrote to our compassionate friend’s of the West. We wrote, and they gave. We bought 26 blankets, weighing 6.5 kgs, the warmest they come. We drove to the Wineburg shop, and we bartered with the muslim owner. They were R250 each, but I said, “these are for orphans sir..” I got him down to R185. We thought we were clever borrowing a big Subaru to load them up in, but only 22 would fit. We had to make a second run.

All of you in our Vulnerable Children program now have one of these blankets for each of your beds. We trust this lessens the blow; the blow of the wind through the cracks, the bite of the cold. We have prioritized each of your homes for repairs, as some amazing colleague missionaries have offered their experience in construction. They will be building you a bed Analisa, no child should sleep on a muddy, cold, wet floor . They will be patching your roofs, and they will even be building you a new shack Zanele, because we know you and your three children have no place to stay, but at your friend’s shebeen (township bar). We know you are sick and need a bed to call your own.

Please know we remember you on the cold days, we remember you on the wet days, we remember you even after we have left your houses with our muddied boots, to return to our own. We know we remember you because on these days we want to desperately stay home, dry and semi warm but yet we come. I am thankful that your electric stove plates warm us up in your shacks, although I am worried about your babies stumbling on the cords.  I am astounded that I have never heard one of you complain, you have never implied how its unfair, you have never made me embarrassed because of how different we live, although I admit I am always aware, as I am sure you are to.

We are looking for more sponsors for your children who have been orphaned by AIDS, for your neighbors who are children raising their own siblings. We are hoping that those who have heat and proper walls, floors, and roofs would consider sponsoring one of them for only $40 a month. We are praying that those who are fortunate to always know that they will eat dinner, that they will never have to skip a meal would be interested in making sure one of your children never has to.

Vulnerable Children of Masiphumelele, I hope the families abroad who give and even sacrifice, so you have warm blankets and food in your stomaches, I hope God rewards them for their concern for the weak. In fact I know that He will, He has made this much clear. I also trust that those who give to me, to enable me to love you with my hands, my feet, my heart, and my mouth, that they too are being richly provided for and made enviably happy, blessed and fortunate; because they really are lending to God.



“Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21

” I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it but because by it I see everything.” – C.S. Lewis

” To know what is right and to not do it is the worst cowardice.” – Confuscious

” Christ has no body on earth by yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. You are the eyes from which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet to which He is to go about doing good; and your are the hands to which he is to bless us now.”   – St. Teresa of Avila

If you or someone you know might be interested in sponsoring a vulnerable child would you email me or send me their email????!!