Thabo, Vella, and Paulito on Children's day, waiting for their chicken dinner.
Vella is a very dear friend of mine, and the missionary over a dorm of little boys, where Thabo lived.
Vella praying for Thabo.
He received so much love in this family. He learned what it's like to be loved instead of rejected. He got to know Jesus while he was here. He felt God's love through the missionaries and tias who looked after him. Sometimes He would be mumbling and they would say, "Who are you talking to Thabo?" "I am praying to Jesus." He would say.
Sometimes he would be singing in his quiet voice, and they would ask what he was doing. "I am singing to God because Jesus told me to." Was his reply.
Thabo came to us about 2 years ago, battling HIV, TB, and malnutrition and rejection.
But though his body was weak, His spirit was quite alive and full of Joy. Thabo means "Joy", and we know him by the joy he brought to so many.
He spent a few months in the hospital, then stayed in the clinic here at the center for a few months. And finally, he spent the last 4 months in Vella's house, where she, and 2 tias, care for 5 little guys ages 5-6.
On Friday morning, while the rest of the boys were at school, Thabo was alone with the tia and Vella. In the last week he had gotten much weaker, and now he was asking for Tia Judite to hold him. She did for a little while, and then he asked for Vella to hold him. Tia Judite passed him off to Vella, who held him for a while. Then he said, "I want to go to sleep."
Vella laid him on his bed, and said, "Go to sleep Thabo, and be free." As she pulled her hands out from under him, and took his last breath, closed his eyes, and went to sleep from this world. He woke up in Jesus's arms, with a whole new body, and able to run and play and dance with Tino and others!
Today was the funeral. It was sad, but sweet. Because we know where He is now.
Some of the young boys who were friends with Thabo came to the funeral, and with tears streaming down their faces, they said their final good byes.
Please keep lifting up Vella, and Tia Judite and Tia Victoria, who poured out love unconditionally into Thabo. They miss him terribly, and he has left such a sweet legacy.
We celebrate his life!