Thabo died so peacefully Friday morning in his bed at home.
In the morning he asked his Tia (one of the Mozambican women who provide care in his home for he and four other boys) if she could wrap him on her back, as young babies and children are carried. He's never wanted to do that before because he legs couldn't straighten so it was painful for him. As Vella said, he must just have wanted to feel so close to her. He then asked to go inside and sit on Vella's lap. After a bit he was restless and wanted to lay down. After just a few moments, still holding Vella's hand, he took his last breath.
We received this as an amazing gift of God because with all of his health problems, he could have suffered greatly. It's so precious that he even had special time with both Judite and Vella before he died, what a gift for them as well.
I'll never forget hearing about Thabo's arrival at the center while I was in the US. People often ask why I stay here so long, or when I'm coming home or why I do what I do. When I heard about Thabo's terrible neglect I thought "he's why I do what I do, so he can know he is loved and cared for, precious to me and to God."
For the last several months Thabo has been out of our dorm, beginning with a four month stay in the hospital, then living in our clinic and finally living with Vella in a much smaller environment. I was blessed to have been part of his care and am so grateful that he had so many others who absolutely poured loving care into his life.
We will all miss him terribly. He was a bit like a little celebrity here at the center, everyone knew and loved Thabo! Everyone is sad he is no longer with us but we are all confident he is safe, secure and happy in Heaven with his loving Father and Jesus. I'm excited he can stand and walk and run and dance. And I'm quite sure he finally weighs over 22 pounds as God has given him a new body! We rejoice in his eternal healing that he's now enjoying.
Ros and her husband Steve, our directors, took Thabo out after church many, many Sundays with their group of young kids on their regular outings. This one obviously to the beach. You might notice his shoes look a little big - he loved those shoes, even though they were huge on him!
This is Tia Judite who loved him so well and was with him when he died. This is our local pool.
Lovely Khosa Thabo,
July 28, 1999
June 27, 2007