I first met Nomile in November, 2009. She was “living” alone in a hut on her grandparent’s homestead which is across the river from Thoko’s house. She was 2 or 3 years old. Thoko had asked me if I would take a look at her because something wasn’t right. She said Nomile’s head was too big for her body. We couldn’t figure out a time to make that happen so I suggested Thoko bring her into the clinic at the hospital and I would meet her there to have a Doctor exam her. When I arrived at the hospital I took one look at her and immediately brought her into my arms. She was as stiff and as still as a board. She didn’t move or make a sound for the 3-4 hours we had to wait to see the Doctor. This was double alarming because normally a child her age would cry if I picked them up like I did Nomile because I am different than they are.
To make a long story short, her head wasn’t too big, she was suffering from severe malnutrition. The grandmother wouldn’t feed her and would beat her if she saw her. The grandfather did nothing. The Doctor thought it was a lost cause. He and I had a few words and he admitted her into hospital. She was placed in on the malnutrition unit so she could be fed every couple of hours. I went everyday and spent a couple of hours singing to her, rocking her, changing her diapers and feeding her. We also got the social workers involved to try and find a solution for Nomile. Three or four weeks later I had to leave to go back to the States. At that point she was doing better, playing, running, laughing and crying when I would leave everyday. The Doctor begged me to stay and keep her, but I knew I couldn’t.
While I was in the US, Thoko talked with the grandfather and he signed Nomile over to Social Welfare and then Social Welfare called a Orphanage in Mbabane to see if they had room for her. I had met the woman who, with her husband, started and run the orphanage. It was truly the hand of God that answered our prayers. Nomile started 2nd grade in 2015. She is still a bit shy and cautious, but she is the most loving child with the most precious smile. She now has about 28 brothers and sisters who adore her. My friend keeps me updated and tells me she is a good student, going to a good school. She loves to play but also loves to help around the orphanage, especially since she can do some simple chores to earn some sweeties or maybe even a little bit of money.
If there was ever One Child who changed One Heart, it is Nomile. We are so blessed to have more than Nomile who also hold this title!