Today we became legal guardians of Lifa Luphondo.
On this history-changing day, a 9-year old boy went from being invisible to having his name written down in South Africa’s High Court. He went from being uncountable to having three guardians. (Myself, Chris and his biological father.)
The rest of this post is not written to you. It’s a raw response that shot out of my highly-caffeinated fingers and overcome heart. I think you should read it because one day you might need some hope to hold on to.
We’re walking in another miracle today, and we want to share it with you.
Miracles multiply when you share them with others.
I couldn’t see where the road was going, but You were there to be the compass, the driver, the deliverer.
You always met me on that road. Even all those times I had to pull over and cry in a dirty bathroom stall. I drove him back to that dangerous home over and over again. He was too young to defend himself. As soon as he could understand English, I taught him to go to the outdoor toilet and whisper the name of Jesus.
But You pay back what the locusts have eaten away. Even now.
You saved up every tear and fear. Not even one was uncounted.
You turned them into something, and You kept us afloat.
When I asked You if I could stop, if I was making his life worse like people said I was, You told me to keep getting back on that road until You said stop.
You told me I only saw a tiny, skewed picture. I only heard what his night terrors sounded like. Your joy comes in the morning.
You made me strong.
Stronger than I could’ve or would’ve been without invisible faith - the inglorious, unglamorous kind required in the moments nobody saw, smell, heard or knew about.
You were there during those nights when I had to physically restrain his body for hours while terrors overtook him. And when I had to drop him off, unprotected, back to the house they originated in.
You were there during his body’s relentless rejection of nutrients and during the endless hours of learning how to communicate with each other.
Nobody else saw it. It was invisible, unacknowledged, and frowned upon. I asked You if I was a fool, if I’d gotten it all wrong.
Nobody else knew what I knew. They hadn’t seen what I had seen. You saw me even when I couldn’t see You.
You were there when I couldn’t find him for four months.
You were there when my mouth told you I trusted you, but my subconscious kept me awake and in panic, night after night after night. You’ve been there in the countless wakeful nights since then, always remembering what that first fear felt like and knowing I couldn’t prevent it from happening again.
You asked me to build an ark when the world had never seen rain.
You invited me to be family for an invisible child.
You received my “yes” joyfully while I carried my dreams to their crucifixion.
And then You rewrote my dreams.
You turned my mourning into dancing.
You set the lonely in families.
You brought someone to stand with me and see what no one had seen.
You said I didn’t have to drive anymore.
You said Your invisible, perfect design for family was going to become visible.
You painted a rainbow in the sky.
The Light of the World reached out in the middle of the life’s most devastating downpour and made something beautiful. Today, one little boy born invisible and unprotected became visible, validated, guarded.
One family that’s never had a night’s sleep with the next day’s promise of protection, is going to rest and rest deeply tonight.
He won’t be taken. He’s not at risk of disappearing. He can be cared for medically, legally, financially.
He can exist, and we can be a family. A visible family.
We’ve always been a family. But it’s different now.
A generational curse has been finished.
Chains have broken off.
There are chains, invisible burdens, curses and brokenness all over this world. We will keep driving down the hard roads of invisible faith and sacrifice until they all break off.
We wake up every morning with a promise that polishes his shoes for school.
We won’t forget. We will thank you and praise you in all things, day and night. You are worthy.
This letter was not for you. Lifa is safe and accounted for finally. This is the mundane variety of miracle that happens in expensive lawyers’ offices. I shared it with you to paint a promise over your darkest night and your soul’s downpour. If you can’t see the morning yet, hold on to our rainbow with us.
It took 7 years for us, and this is only the beginning of the journey.
Thank you to those of you who have prayed with us and financially supported us. Your finances have contributed toward our family’s living expenses, the startup of a church for Cape Town, and most recently, some very substantial lawyer fees. If you would like more information, feel free to email me at email@example.com@gmail.com.
To join our family’s monthly support team or give a one-time donation toward Lifa’s guardianship miracle, click here.