Three Generations at Neema House Arusha
Two years ago we got a phone call and the voice on the line said those three little words we all love to hear, “Can we help?” Jack and Sylvia Pape after over 50 years in ministry and teaching were looking for a place to put their energy and hearts and the babies of Neema reached out and grabbed them.
They have been coming to Neema for two
years now to hold babies. Sylvia designed the reading program for the babies, assigning each volunteer 2 to 4 babies to take to a special place or chair three times a week and read to just that one baby. If you try to read to the whole group, they all want on your lap and they all want to hold the book! The babies love this and will come and take their reader’s hand and point to a book. Jack goes to the market with Safina, works on cars and helped Baraka, one of our guards, get his driver’s license. He is pretty much like Michael, a general all around handy man willing to do most anything.
This trip they brought their son Arnis, his wife Connie and daughter Ann, pictured below with Sylvia.
That makes three generations volunteering at Neema. We could become the next best family reunion site!
When I told them I wanted to do a story on them, they protested, “Oh no one wants to read about us.” They must have been wrong because here youare!
Connie left, holding baby Patricia.
Ann with abandonded baby Shabani Boy right.
“Like Father, Like Son”
Jack and Arnis both doing double duty with Neema’s abandoned and at risk babies.
When a retired couple doesn’t settle down comfortably on the couch but instead devotes hours, days, and nights in a home with 33 crying, spit upping, hungry babies I think that is big news!
Jack and Sylvia kept three little newborns that came to Neema at the same time last year upstairs in their room. Sylvia says they never all ate or slept at the same time!
Right are the three babies who stayed with Jack and Sylvia. Dorothy who was left in a gravel pit, Doris whose mom died in childbirth and Dawson who was abandoned in town.
Below are some of my favorite shots of Grandpa Jack and Grandma Sylvia.
Real men do socks!
Jack helping match up pairs of socks.
Always the gentleman, Jack above left, receiving a giftfrom baby Joshua’s Masai grandmother.
Sylvia above with Bryony who was abandoned in a latrine.
The picture to the right is my all time favorite picture of Sylvia with abandoned baby Dawson.
Jack is also a phenomenal photographer. Jack and Sylvia don’t normally take time to go to the big game parks preferring to stay with the babies but Jack took some time this trip to show Arnis’s family some of the beautiful animals of Africa.
Biggest Elephant Jack ever saw, notice the size of the car!
If you are still with me after this long picturelog MY BOOK IS OUT!!!
It is a children’s book, the story of Neema’s Elliott who was abandoned at 1.65 pounds. As our daughter Kim said, about the size of a large baked potato, Elliott’s book is titled “The Baked Potato Boy.” It tells the story of a little boy who wanted to be big and that God has big plans for everyone, even the very smallest baby. All proceeds from the book go to Neema House Arusha. Really they do.
You can order it from the publishing company
Guardian Angel Publishing.
or you can order it from Amazon.com
I will leave you with this blessing from 11 Cor 9:8
“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
May God do some “abounding” in your life for your prayers, support and encouragement to us as we do this work.