His body is disabled in every way, every limb, every movement.

But his mind is healthy. In fact, his mind, heart and soul brim over with thankfulness and joy.

“Greetings, Sizwe. The Luke Commission has come with a gift for you.”

When Sizwe was eight years old, he was kicked in the back by a cow. When he healed, his backbone, legs, and arms were crooked. However, he is in no pain today. He credits his lack of discomfort to God’s power.

“No one ever expected me to walk at all. Everyone said I’d be bedridden,” Sizwe declared. “You can see I am not.”

TLC staff members unload Sizwe’s mattress.

So much so, that when Sizwe received a new mattress from a Luke Commission donor, he called the gift “a miracle, a big miracle.”

Sizwe lives on a rural homestead with others who are not blood family but “family” nevertheless. He shares his one-room house with a 19-year-old youth “who had nowhere to sleep.”

Sizwe leans back on his new mattress. He must maneuver getting in and out of his new bed. He will!

Many children and teenagers from nearby homesteads visit Sizwe frequently.

Not wanting to get his new mattress dirty, Sizwe removed his shoes with his feet.

“He tells us stories,” said one young man.

Here he goes…

“He makes us laugh, even when we are hungry,” said another.

“My new bed is wonderful.”

“He never stops talking, and I never stop listening,” said a boy.

“This is easy for me.”

Laughter was heard throughout the area the day The Luke Commission drove up to Sizwe’s home with a brand new mattress for his bed.

“Thank you for my pillow.”

The bed had to be remodeled in order for the mattress to sit low enough for Sizwe to back into it, then roll into his new bed. TLC staff removed the old mattress, giving it to his new roommate. Bricks that held up the mattress were removed.

Sizwe gathers with Sibusiso (front) and Winile to celebrate.

And then Sizwe hoisted himself onto his new mattress with infectious hilarity. Before long, everyone joined in the merriment.

Pure joy.

“Thank you very much for what you have done for Sizwe,” exclaimed a neighbor.

Outside his home, Sizwe gathers with Winile (left), Sibusiso, and a neighbor, who is as happy for Sizwe as she might have been if the mattress had been for her.

“This new bed is very comfortable. If I could jump, I would jump!”

Sizwe does not let his disabilities steal his joy for life.

Continued Sizwe: “I am so happy. May God bless the people who sent this mattress. The Luke Commission has always supported and helped me. Many staff there are my friends now.”

Sizwe’s homestead is his palace. He tells visitors how grateful he is for his home.

Sizwe has been supported by The Luke Commission for three years. He’s a “favorite” among staff, just like he is among his youthful neighbors.

(by Janet Tuinstra)

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