[notice]Robbie Hift recently visited the remarkable Jehovah Jireh Haven in Alexandria. This is his report.[/notice]
In the little country town of Alexandria is one of the most amazing places I have ever seen: the Jehovah Jireh Haven (JJH) for unwanted children. It is run by just two private people, Molly and Neels Bam, with no government aid whatsoever. Currently they have 102 children under their tender care. They are assisted by some unpaid helpers and have no regular source of funding to run the shelter. They have been doing this for 20 years!
Babies are delivered in shoe boxes to the couple’s compassionate doors and toddlers are taken in and cared for. Unwanted children have been brought to Molly by the Police and by the Department of Social Development. They have been assigned to her by courts, they have been dumped at the haven by uncaring or desperate parents. Some little children have event come on their own. In some instances mothers have arrived with their children to drop them off for good. No little ones have never been turned away.
More than that, Molly has taken babies and children to clinics and hospital. She has arranged for schooling. She has slept under the bed of a sick and dying child in hospital, in order to be there for a frightened and lonely child. Every last child at JJH has known this love and acceptance.
Molly explains: “The Lord God is our provider and in the last 20 years that I have been running Jehovah Jireh Haven, He has been faithful and met all our needs every single day. What a fantastic God we serve!
“As a new child comes to live with us, I give that child a name from the Bible. So we have Noah, aged 9 with his speech impediment and Abraham who is Xhosa and Alpha, my little girl of 2 years to mention only three out of the 102 children. My husband, Neels, is a hunter, so my children never want for fresh meat. Just look how healthy they are!”
Indeed it is remarkable just how the children seem to live harmoniously together on this smallholding with its collection of ‘love nests’ (small buildings) that have been added to the property over the years. If one speaks to people who have had contact with the children, they will confirm that they are disciplined and well behaved. They have learnt social skills that otherwise they would have been denied. They have a sound system of values and the ways and wisdom of God’s Holy Word are instilled in them on a daily basis. In every room stands an open bible, well-thumbed and earmarked to give the courage and inspiration it takes to survive in a tough world where your parents have abandoned you. In almost every room is the sound of praise and worship from a battered CD player or an ancient TV screen.
God’s provision to JJH over the years has included donations and building and infrastructure development projects by organisations and individuals who have been touched by the faithful children’s ministry. If this report has touched your heart and you would like to sow into the lives of the 102 children at the haven, you could call Molly Bam at 046 653 0487 or 072 587 5631, to find out how you could help. You could visit JJH if you are in range — it is about an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth. Or you could make a once-off or regular donation to help meet constant needs such as clothing for children from 6 months to 18 years (or older), food, medicine and books. The bank details for donations are: Account name: Jehovah Jireh Haven; Standard Bank: Alexandria. Code 050817; Account number: 283943793.