Marietjie heard of a severely malnourished child locked up in a shack somewhere in the outskirts of Okahandja. She dropped everything and went looking for him. Nothing could prepare her for what she saw that day. John was lying locked up in a little shack. His mother was nowhere to be found. He was more dead than alive. He did not have enough strength in his emancipated body to get up from the bed. He had a twin, but she lost her battle of neglect, malnutrition, and illness.
At 10 years of age, he weighed only 12kg. We took him to the hospital to see a doctor. The doctor immediately admitted him to hospital. He stayed there for a couple of days, while the doctors ran some tests. The diagnoses came that he had AIDS and was already very sick. Sadly, the doctor suggested that we take him home so that he could die in peace. We took John home. We loved him and cared for him, we fed him lots of small meals per day and we gave his medication religiously. John survived. It took a year to get him healthy enough so that he could start going to school. Today he is 18 years old and in grade 5. He loves school and is an active football player.
John is not the only miracle success story walking the hallways of Hope Village. Each and every child has a unique, gripping and real-life story of calamity that turned into joy.