Church members rescue abandoned babies in South Africa
The Good News, a service of Oklahoma Christian University, reports on the work of church members Stephen and Esmé Sheasby in Durban, South Africa.
In 2008 the couple founded Mission Providence, which helps widows and orphans affected by Africa’s AIDS epidemic.
“We focus on the whole person,” Sheasby said, “ministering to spiritual, physical, emotional and educational needs. We were founded in 2008 and are a U.S.-based non-profit (501c3) and a registered non-profit in South Africa (2011). Our administrative headquarters is in Houston, Texas.”
Mission Providence is registered with local officials as “a place of safety” for abandoned babies and, as such, has referrals when their services are needed. This year they officially opened Blessed Beginnings Baby Home and are able to care for up to four abandoned children at a time with the help of three ladies from the church who take turns in caring for the children on three-day shifts.
Eventually the children they care for will be taken by adoptive homes, but the children need care from when they are found until other arrangements can be made. Many times their care requires a high level of medical attention as most children come in with medical complications, some as serious as being HIV positive. As an example of those they serve, the police brought to them a two-year old girl who had been found wandering in the streets. Later it was discovered that she had HIV and Turbuculosis. Since she spoke only Zulu, they found someone who spoke that language to assist them in caring for the child.