A pair of second hand flip-flops or sunglasses for your birthday

A few days ago it felt like my birthday in Badsberg Close, although it wasn’t. I received the most beautiful letter with the words: “Lisa, I love you. You are my best friend. I hop (instead of ‘hope’) you will come to visit. I love you my best friend. From David.” I could see on the letter that after numerous attempts and lavish use of the eraser, he managed to get the letter up to this standard. A few moments after I received the letter, Tammy came to me and gave me three weed flowers that she must have picked somewhere on her way from school.

A little while ago Lewena (our housemother) celebrated her birthday and one of the children drew her a picture of the prettiest birthday cake and stuck it against the door of her room. With the “Happy Birthday” and “love you sis, Lewena”, there was also a warning: “Don tyk it ov”. And believe me, not one of us took the risk and the picture is still against the door.

Birthdays or no birthdays, the children always make us feel very special. Most of the children’s birthdays look a bit different… often they would shyly come to us and whisper that it’s their birthday. No cake, no gift and no party. Many of them are familiar with the empty promises of party packets, gifts and new clothes.

In our simple manner we celebrate with second hand flip-flops (two sizes too big), sunglasses (that reach their upper lips), hugs and the “Happy Birthday” song. It makes them happy that we know them by name. And it makes us happy that there is a God who knows them much better than we do.

Isaiah 43:1b – “I have called you by name; you are Mine.”