The following is an excerpt from a booklet my mother wrote, she is now at home with the Lord after serving Him as best as she could. In her zeal for evangelism she mingled her story of coming to know Jesus with an apologetic against pretty much every major religion. I have removed the extensive apologetic section with a desire just to share her story in particular
I came from England to South Africa in 1962. In 1965, at the age of 16, I worked as a nurse at the Frangwen Maternity Home, where I met lovely Jewish people. They were always kind to me and appreciative of good nursing care.
I remember on one occasion taking an eight day old for his bris. The rabbi used to come to a house next door to the Frangwen where he would perform the bris. Afterwards he would give the baby a little wine on a cotton dummy.The name of one Rabbi stands out clearly in my mind and that is because the staff had a nickname for him. His name was Kopolosky but the staff called him Chopitoffsky. Later on in my search for God, the bris (circumcision) of Jewish males helped my faith grow in the one-true God of the Jews because I thought it could only be God who would lead people to cut a small baby exactly on the 8th day toprevent bleeding. Only God would know thousands of years ago before there were blood tests and medical knowledge that the 8th day was the safest for circumcision.
It was quite an experience being so young and watching babies being born seeing a caesarian section for the first time. Later when I married I had three of my own babies at the Frangwen, two boys and a girl. When the girl was in her sixth month she became ill and died. Her name was Karin and she was my second child.
She had croup and wasadmitted to thbe Fever Hospital, after a few days the doctor said she was well enough to take home. That afternoon I went to visit her with my sister Christina. She was in a private ward with a sign on the door saying “Put amask and gown on before entering”. My sister is an eyewitness to what happened next. A blonde nurse came from the infected wards, ignored the rules on the sign and went into Karin’s ward picked her up and repeatedly kissed her on the mouth and face trying to make her smile for her visitors. I was shocked and my heart sank at the nurse breaking the rules, because I had nursed at the Frangwen, I knew all about germs and spreading them andthe importance of barrier nursing. My sister turned to me and said, “Sandra tell her to stop it.” I said “No it’s too late. She’s already kissed her and if I complain now she might be unkind to Karin, and anyway she’s coming hometomorrow.”
The next afternoon I went to pick up my beautiful red-cheeked blue-eyed baby. Pushing her home in her pram I noticed she had a temperature and was ill. Within about 24 hours she had virtually stopped passing urine. My doctor sent a sample of her urine away for testing. The results showed she had an infection which needed treatment with certain antibiotics all of which had sideeffects. The antibiotic the doctor chose had the side effect of causing vomiting.
I tried so hard to make her well, and I knew if I could keep the antibiotic in Karin’s stomach for at least 20 minutes it would be absorbed into herbloodstream and then she could start getting better. I tried to shush her and keep her quiet so the antibiotic would stay in her stomach, but to no avail. Within 5 minutes she vomited it out and she steadily grew worse. I asked the doctor if I could bring her to his rooms every four hours so that he could give medicine in injection form, but he said she must go back to hospital, a paediatrician was called in, but nothing helped.
Daily Karin became weaker. One Sunday night I went to visit her. She was lying on her back. She tried to suck her thumb but was too weak. Her hand just flopped back on to the bed. She was too weak to grasp even a small rattle I held out to her, and then she started to vomit. I quickly lifted her up fearing that she would choke, and was shocked to feel how weak and light she was. She didn’t feel like my strong sturdy baby any more. I think it was then I knew she was dying.
The next morning my husband and I were called to the hospital. when we arrived the nurses must not have been expecting us because the curtains were not drawn around ber bed and there lay her limp little dead body under a sheet. I remember thinking that what only happens to others has actually happened to me, but my main concern was still Karin. I felt guilty because I’d let her retun to hospital and chided myself. Surely if I’d kept her home I could have loved her better?
The next day I went to see Dr Heitner and asked him where Karin was. I meant Karin, not the dead body. He said I must ask a minister or priest. I walked to the Roman Catholic Church and asked the priest for help. He said God had chosen Karin from a lot of children. This was just empty talk, it did nothing to fill the vacuum that was searching for truth. I thanked him and left. Outside was a nun, I ran to her thinking she would be able to help. She told me to go inside and ask the priest, I told her I already had..
My mother said nice things to me such as “Its all right love, don’t worry you can have more children”, but I didn’t want placating. I wanted more. I wanted satisfying ! I did not know God was using the megaphone of pain to drive me into my Faithful Creator’s arms. But who was my Faithful Creator?
God made Adam and Eve. That means He made Karin and I too. I now know that in the Tenach (Old Testament) a gentile Ruth joined herself to the Jews by joining herself to Naomi, and that God even named one of the Old Testament Books after her, the book of Ruth. Only two books in the Old Testament are named after women. The other one is Esther, who was a Jewess. You know I used to think all the Tenach (Old Testament) prophets were Jewish and was glad to discover that Great men of God such as Abraham and Noah were Gentiles. It makes me feel more comfortable knowing God uses Jews and Gentiles. Integrity tells me there can only be one God. Is he only the God of the Jews? Then why did he allow me to be born? I know now that He promised through Abraham blessings would come upon all the nationsof the earth and that brings me a white gentile into the big picture.
All my life l’d been surrounded by white gentiles until I came to South Africa where I met black gentiles too. My parents and family, my school teachers, my neighbours were gentiles. In other words they were not Jewish or Christian. A mistake which is made by Jews and the world is that if you’re bom into a white non-Jewish family it makes you a Christian, except for Muslims. etc. This is not true. My father is an Italian Roman Catholic, my mother Church of England (Protestant) and my husband was Lutheran (Protestant). We had all been christened or baptised as babies or children. All this did was give us small doses of Christianity that stopped us from catching the real thing. As you can gather this is organised religion. I call it organised Immunity.
I was 21 years old when Karin died and had only met 2 real Christians. They were different. The same love that is now in my heart was in their hearts. Love that is gentle, kind, merciful but trueful. Love that does not care about oneself but puts the other person first. I know this love is not human. If it were, the world would be a lovely place. The one and only Christian I’d met in South Africa had given me a Bible a few months previously. I went home to my flat in Hillbrow and although there were sympathy cards with comforting words they meant nothing to me, but the words I read in the Bible were empowered by God because they were alive, supernaturally alive. I read Thess 4:13″Brothers we do not want you to be ignorant about those who die, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope, we believe that Jesus died and rose again. So we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have died in Him.” Peace and Joy entered my heart as the Holy Spirit healed my hurting heart.It didn’t stop even when I put the Bible down. A supernatural power was with me, a voice speaking deep within my heart, words that loved me and Karin, words that as I walked in the streets said ‘Sandra look at the children in their prams and pushchairs, what are their lives going to be like, what suffering isin store for them.’ words that healed like cream on a wound and said Karin is in Heaven being loved by her faithful Creator.
Yes, this is how I joined myself to the One True Living God of the Jewish people, through the kind and gentle Jew, Jesus.
By the way I don’t know if Karin died as a result of the nurses kiss or if the germs of the original croup spread throughout her body. What I do remember is the docior saying she died from bacterial shock. On a lighter note, a few days after she died my littie two year old son Warren asked me what insect spray was for. When I told him, he said, “Mommy, why đon’t they have one like that to kill germs? Then we could have sprayed all the germs and Karin wouldn’t be dead but alive.” We do know she is alive and in Heaven with herFaithful Creator.