Her name is Didi (not her real name), she is of Indian descent is softly spoken and is one of those people who just blend into a crowd. A few weeks ago she came up to my office and said that she urgently needed to speak to me as what I said in the devotions had touched her deeply. She sat down and shared with me an amazing story. Being a reserved type of person she would often be taken “hostage” by dominant men who would use and abuse her. One group forced her into being a drug mule and she was caught and arrested in Brazil and served 5 years in a Brazilian jail. On release, she was sent back to SA and landed in the Cape with nothing and no one. True to the pattern of her past she was “befriended” by a Xhosa man who again began the physical and verbal abuse. A few months later she found that she was pregnant. A little boy was born and the abuse got worse and worse.
One day, the boyfriend came home and beat Didi. He then demanded that she take that piece of (expletive) pointing to the baby and get out and never come back. In total shock and in considerable pain she gathered up the baby’s things put some of her clothes in a plastic bag and left the house. She does not know how she got to Muizenberg.
The next day, Michael, one of the MID street cleaners found her and the baby sitting on the pavement both crying. He sat down next to them and asked what was wrong? After hearing about being thrown out of the house Michael said that she should come to Living Grace, “They would help her.” Joan and the staff were truly magnificent.
Not only did they put a food parcel together but Michael bought nappies out of his own pocket, Mary Anne bought a tin of power milk for the baby and Josephine said she would take her to her church Pastor in Capricorn to ask for help with accommodation. The Pastor took her in to his own home and our staff continued to support her and the baby with milk and nappies. Didi has been an amazing volunteer and nothing too much for her. She is a real star as a very dependable capable volunteer. She is thoroughly delightful to have around.
As she shared the story with me, I was truly amazed and deeply touched by the sacrificial actions of my staff. I had no idea they were helping out of their own meagre incomes. She then stopped speaking and quietly sat and just looked at me. After a good number of seconds, she said, “I never intended to tell you my whole sorry story I just wanted to ask you to lead me to Jesus. What I have heard and what I have seen here makes me realise I need to have Jesus in my life.” A very special moment followed, a moment many of us in ministry cherish.
Didi has remained an excellent volunteer and there are many more of us now who help with nappies and milk for her 9month old little boy. Didi is a very bright and loving mommy and is able to speak five languages which include, English, Afrikaans, Portuguese, Spanish and German.
The Pastor has offered her some land to build a small bungalow (shack) in a safe place and she is now trying to find some building material so she can move out of a very congested house and be on her own. Michael and the street cleaners have promised to help her build the bungalow.
If anyone can help with either building material or employment please let me know. I will gladly recommend this lady and would love to see her being able to provide for herself and her little boy.
I am also very humbled and “proud” of our Living Grace staff and street cleaners. God is at work here at Living Grace to Him be all the Glory!
-written by Peter Lovick, Living Grace General Manager
Living Grace is a place of refuge, restoration and recovery.