Earlier this year I received an email from a not one sparrow reader in South Africa, Cherie Sindall, and we quickly struck up a running conversation. Cherie's story of decades of faithful work among the animals and people of her adopted homeland, despite intense seasons of economic and other need (including recent months), impacted me deeply.
We'll be sharing more of Cherie's amazing story and experiences in the coming months, but as not one sparrow is celebrating our 2nd anniversary this week, I tentatively asked if she might be willing to introduce herself and share a bit about how not one sparrow has been an encouragement to her and her work. I'm deeply grateful to Cherie for doing so, and for the steadfast encouragement she has been to me, and to our community ...
After reading not one sparrow for 6 months, I am writing to thank God for guiding me to your website. I am deeply encouraged that someone in this world recognises the Love and Personality of God as it is revealed to us through every creature He has created.
not one sparrow is a foretaste of Heaven. I wonder if you realise how powerful a tool your website is? God seems very near when I read your blog and study the magnificent photos you share on the site. I am certain you cannot be aware of the countless number of unseen lives (all those you will never hear from or know about) that are blessed through the work you are doing.
You must wonder at times what good you are doing and what actual animal lives are being saved by your faithfully maintaining words on a blog.
Do you remember the poem "Footprints"? For so long in my life it seemed there were no footprints for me to follow and I thought I had completely lost my way in a world of broken and abused animals. My home is a peaceful, joy-filled haven for a large variety of abandoned and abused animals. We live as a "family," tucked away in the Cape Forests near the tip of Southern Africa. Our nearest city is a distance of 50 miles away.
For 30 years I dedicated my life to rescuing abused animals, and in most cases adopting them into my home where they have been loved and cherished to the end of their lives. In recent years, as financial strain has been taking its toll, I doubted and began to despair. It seemed ludicrous to continue with the work we do in the rural areas surrounding us. After selling all I could afford to sell to support the animals, it seemed that a mass euthanasia programme was inevitable. I called my local veterinary surgeons for advice, and because they have worked beside me for the past 30 years, they reluctantly understood and approved the tragic plan.
Then I found not one sparrow. Through your site I found affirmation and encouragement to "fight against finality." I am continuing to rescue abused animals, and as the demand from the rural peoples living near me has continued to grow I am now prayerfully beginning the process of registering as a non-profit organisation, which is being named "bravehearts."
Because of not one sparrow, 30 horses, 11 rats (bred to be dinner for a venomous snake), 8 abandoned dogs, 2 cats, a sparrow, a cape bunting, an Egyptian goose, 2 canaries and 14 tame chickens are all continuing to live their lives as part of a unique little family in Africa. There are also countless dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, chickens and other animals which are receiving veterinary care and regular supervision as we teach their rural owners to take better care of their pets and livestock.
I studied several animal-related websites for many months before I found not one sparrow. There are many interesting sites and wonderful stories, but most of them seem to side-step the issue of The Creator Himself. I appreciate your faithfulness in pointing to God Himself and His Great Love for all of His Creation. Your site teaches Truth and encourages your readers to grow deeper in love and commitment to the One Whose Name is above Every Name in Heaven and Earth.
My life and the lives of all the animals in my care would have taken a tragic turn if I had not found not one sparrow. I pray for you all in the work you are doing, and that many who are able will support the website so that it continues until Jesus comes!
God bless you all, Cherie
I'm so grateful to Cherie for what she wrote, and for all her encouragement these past months. So many of you have passed along the same, and I can't thank you enough for your personal affirmation and encouragement. It's meant the world to me, and to not one sparrow, and helped keep us going through some difficult times on our own end.
We don't want to be at all self-congratulating, but if you have a testimonial of your own about how not one sparrow has been a help or encouragement to you, we welcome you to share it with our community this week. Your feedback is very meaningful, personally and to our supporters, and we may even be able to share it in an upcoming post. Regardless, we love and appreciate you for your love for God's creatures, and for the role you play in not one sparrow.
(photos courtesy Cherie Sindall, and as a native cross-pond'er her natural Britishisms were purposefully left in the post; please look up Cherie's invaluable work with Bravehearts and drop her an encouraging note!)