John and Bethany Arndt

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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Death, where is your sting?

March 25th, 2011 by | 1 Comment

Baby Safe was contacted in September to help a new mother who we will call Noxolo. She was in her mid twenties, and had fled from Johannesburg after a relationship she was in broke down. She had just given birth to twins, a girl and a boy, who were very premature, coming into the world at only 6 months. Suddenly she had found herself in Cape Town, homeless and struggling to cope with these new little babies who the hospital staff were saying didn’t have much chance.

Noxolo was adamant that they would survive and named her son Gift and her daughter Precious. The doctors were frank in their assessment; both of these twins would be lucky to survive the conditions which their early birth has given them in the over run public healthcare system.

With seemingly nowhere to go, and very little hope left, Baby Safe stepped in. We helped her think about how she could get through the Christmas season and find a place to stay near the hospital so that she could continue to visit and nurse her twins. With no money, no family and no possibility of finding a job, the only option left to Noxolo was to find a place in a shelter.

We are often in contact with shelters, and spaces are hard to find with such large impoverished townships dotted all over the Cape Town area which create hundreds of desperate scenarios like this every day.
The Christmas season made it even less likely we would find a shelter that could take Noxolo but incredibly after only a few phone calls we had found a women’s shelter that was able to take her. An added bonus was that it was close enough for her to get the small minibus taxis to the hospital. To find a shelter so easily was a huge answer to prayer – It is very rare that shelters here take in girls immediately. Generally there is a long list of people waiting to get into them and they are always full. God had prepared a place for her.

Over the next few months staff members Rachel and Nomzamo would call her every few days, and visit her and the babies in the nitensive care unit, to support her and to intercede for her babies lives. I even went one day when most of our staff prayed for healing and a miracle. Little precious whimpered the whole time, she was so uncomfortable and mom was weary trying to hold her baby.

After a small operation Gift, her son made a huge recovery and became well enough that he was allowed to go to the shelter and stay with mom. Meanwhile Precious was making little sign of recovery and was moved to a specialist Red Cross children’s hospital. After a few weeks she seemed to be showing good signs when we visited, but after fuller assessments were made she was transferred to a local christian hospice called Nazareth House, the hospitals said there was nothing they could do.

The Nazareth Hospice was an incredible place. At first we were nervous at the thought of visiting a baby hospice as it had been so hard to see both mom and baby suffer. However Rachel was struck by the peace and joy that was so evident in the place. The nurses there were incredible with the children, some orphaned because of the illnesses they had and the disfigurements. But each one so beautifully nurtured and loved. Precious was the most peaceful we had ever seen her. She began to feed from a bottle for the first time and we even caught her smiling at her mom.

But only one day after this visit Noxolo was called to the Hospice and within the first few minutes, as she was holding Precious in her arms, she saw her go to be with Jesus. In the following minutes we were the first she called. As a heart broken mother poured out her tears over the phone, Rachel wept with her and shared in her pain. It was an immense privilege for Rachel & Nomzamo to spend these few months walking alongside Noxolo and Precious, discovering what it means to love as Jesus does.

On the day Precious died, to our surprise, Noxolo’s family (who she has had little to no contact or support from) arrived to grieve with her. Our team had been praying for this for weeks, in addition the day we came together to ask the Lord to take her due to her suffering, was the day before she went to be with Him.

1 Corinthians 15v54-55 says ” Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture with be fulfilled, death is swallowed up in the victory? O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

No longer does Precious suffer! She is fully in God’s presence. But please pray for Noxolo’s, a mom whose heart is breaking over the loss of a her Precious daughter.

2010 – A Year in Review

March 16th, 2011 by | Leave a comment

In 2010, approximately 500 babies were dumped in Cape Town alone. A result of poverty, abuse, HIV/AIDS, hopelessness and desperation, the challenge seemed overwhelming. And yet…

Even in the midst of seemingly impossible obstacles, the LORD is bringing hope.

In 2010 Baby Safe worked with a recorded total of 238 women and children, and others that were not documented. In one year, we saw 107 women for the Termination of Pregnancy counseling at the local hospital. Of these women, 20 of them changed their minds and made a choice for life-over 1/5th!-and probably more that went unknown.

We worked with 58 women on an individual level of some kind who made a choice to parent, and saw the birth of 38 babies, including those that would have been aborted.

7 babies were successfully placed in loving homes through adoption.

8 children were put in a place of safety in our network of safety families, 4 of whom were placed long term while the other 4 were able to be reunited with their family.

27 women and children experienced intervention for either difficult or even life-threatening situations, many going through the process of discipleship.

2010 saw the 1st baby left successfully in our baby safe, as 1 brave woman chose to give her child a future rather than dumping it!

These women and children came to us from every background, circumstance, race and region. We worked with countless from our local communities of Masiphumelele, Ocean View, and Fish Hoek, as well as surrounding areas like Muizenberg or even Khayelitsha. They were black, white and colored, Xhosa, Afrikaanse, Zulu, Zimbabwean, Malawian, and more. Each one different. Each one desperate.

Yet the LORD sees each of them and calls them by name. He called them to life and not death, to hope and to healing. He looks upon them and sees his children, forsaken royalty, calling them to a greater destiny.

“The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will designate. You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,” nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; but you will be called, “My delight is in her,” and your land, “Married”; for the LORD delights in you.” -Isaiah 62:2-4.

In 2010, 50+ babies were not dumped. 78+ mothers chose life; they made a plan and sought help instead of a rubbish heap. 27+ women and children walked a road of rescue or restoration, to prevent these circumstances from even happening. 238 lives were touched, changed, challenged.

In 2010, the statistics dropped by 238.

Now in 2011, we look ahead with expectation, that the LORD will do even more!

Baby B…

March 11th, 2011 by | Leave a comment

You probably remember baby ‘B’…

How could you forget? Her story is heart wrenching and hopeful all in one. We are absolutely confident that God has plans for her future, plans that include, purity, safety, joy and relationship with Him. Over the last few months she has come into our care many times. Again, her situation has become unstable being that her mother will not stay behind bars and so we are asking for your prayers. This situation needs finality and closure. Each time her mother is unjustly released from prison, this child is in danger. Baby Safe has been on this case for about a year now and desperate for justice and finality. Please pray that the corrupt manner in which some of the police operate would stop interfering with this case and of which results in ‘B’s’ mom’s release from prison.

B’s mom is actually several months pregnant with a second child now… we also pray for this life, miraculous protection and preservation, as mom’s lifetstyle is destructive to say the least.

He defends the cause of the fatherless…Deuteronomy 10:18.

A look inside…

March 3rd, 2011 by | Leave a comment

For those of you who are curious about the looks and working of an actual baby safe which we use to receive abandoned babies, here is a staged shot for you. This is not an actual abandoned baby but an enactment that we staged for a newspaper interview. We are thankful for the publicity and that this magazine is writing a feature article which includes an interview with one of our mothers who decided to keep and parent her child. This particular safe is located in the front of a church and was the very first one to be installed in 2008. The child inside is 18 months old {premature} so you can see approximately how large the safe is in relation to her.

We are working on our 3.0 version of the baby safe wich will be deeper and taller to hold an older child. A children’s home in Heramanus, South Africa just joined the Baby Safe Network and picked up theirs from us this week!

This month we transitioned to a new system of production and we are overwhelmed by the generousity and committment from a new team member, a company called GSM Commander. They are volunteering their time and energy to lead the process of obtaining donations of all the parts we need to make baby safes, so that the cost of them will decrease dramtically with the aim of being completely free. We would like to give away atleast 50 baby safes a year to areas of need. GSM Commander are also giving their company as a base of technical assistance for our growing network of baby safes ( www.gsmcommander.com). We remain deeply thankful to the orginal creator and manufacturer of the baby safe, Luke Pederson (www.pedersenlennard.co.za).

God is reaching his mighty arm to rescue the unwanted through out Africa…

Next installs are a church in Swaziland, a community care centre in Inchanga, a All Nations mission base in Zambia, and the city centre of a region called Potcheftsroom…