John and Bethany Arndt

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Death, where is your sting?

Posted on by bethany

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.

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One Response to Death, where is your sting?

  1. Joy says:

    Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this powerful story. I am praying for Noxolo. I cannot imagine going through that. Miss you Bethany!!

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