Happy Birthday Susan

Susan Roberson Thompson

Many of you don’t know this story so I wanted to share it with you today – April 2nd – on Susan’s birthday.

Susan went to Heaven on January 7, 2004, so her birthday just a few months later on April 2nd was especially hard for me.   I wasn’t thinking about children in Africa.  I didn’t know anything about Wim and Hylien van Rensburg and the work that God was calling them to do.  I was simply trusting God day by day minute by minute – totally dependent upon Him to walk with me through the grief of her leaving me.

Her birthday continues to be a hard day for me even though I know all of the wonderful things God has done through her life.  Maybe that’s why I felt the need to share this story with you today.   I needed to remind myself again of God’s great plan and His great love for all of His children.

It was 2005 before God led us to Wim and Hylien and their ministry to children and it was 2006 before God called Marvin Gurganus to start the Susan’s Kids ministry.  Just before Susan’s birthday in 2007, I received the most precious God Wink.  I was looking at some random pictures that Wim had posted and was super-blessed when I saw this one.

A Special Day

It doesn’t look like much does it?  Just a piece of bare land.  If you’ll notice though, the date on the picture is April 2, 2004!  I remember the feeling I got when I saw this picture and I knew it was something very special.  I asked Wim and Hylien about it and they told me the amazing story.

They had been feeding children out of the back of Wim’s truck for some time, and Wim knew that God was leading him to build a Care Center for the children of Leratong Village.  He didn’t have land or money to build a facility, but God kept nudging him to “Just do it!”  Wim went to see the Chief of the village and told him what he wanted to do for the children.  God gave him favor with the Chief and Wim was able to get a piece of land using all the money he had at the time — the equivalent of $20 US dollars!   He made the transaction with the Chief on April 2, 2004.  At that time we didn’t know anything about them and they didn’t know anything about us  . . . but God was weaving a plan!

I think it sounds best straight from Wim’s heart.  I copied this from an email he sent me on March 25, 2007 when I asked him about the picture.

“That was the day I paid for the first piece of land.  We used every cent we had to do that, and to us it was a HUGE step of faith.  Today it seems so unbelieveable, but then we really were living from God’s hand… It was $20! — and after that in the world’s eyes we were flat broke for the rest of the month.  Awesome how God has taken us from then and provided all the way!”

I am still amazed when I think about how God arranged for this precious ministry in Africa to be birthed on Susan’s birthday.  I daydream sometimes about what it would have been like if Susan could have had children and my heart starts to ache when I think about it.  God gave me a verse to help the hurt.  He reminds me daily of all the children He has given her already.

“Rejoice O childless woman! Break forth into loud and joyful song, even though you never gave birth to a child.  For the woman who could bear no children now has more than all the other women.  Enlarge your house; build an addition; spread out your home!  For you will soon be bursting at the seams . . . ”  Isaiah 54:1-3


Susan's Kids - Leratong Village



Debbie Roberson


Scarves for Susan’s Kids

Ladies, don’t you just love these scarves?







They were hand made by my sister-in-law, Jamie.  Jamie and my brother Edwin live in Hampton, Virginia.   Jamie wanted to do something to “give back” to the Lord and He laid on her heart to make these sweet scarves to sell as a fundraiser for Susan’s Kids. Jamie is selling the scarves for $20 each — a great buy considering the fact that each one is hand-made with love.

There are thirteen different yarn colors that you can choose from.  My scarf color is “Faded Jeans” and Lauren is wearing “Collegiate”.  Check out the link below and make sure to scroll down a bit to see all the color choices.  Jamie will need to know the name of the yarn color you want.


If you are interested in ordering a scarf (or scarves), you can contact Jamie directly by calling 757-848-6989.  If she doesn’t answer, make sure to leave your phone number and she will call you back.  You’ll need to allow approximately 4 weeks for delivery – depending on the volume of orders that she receives.  Checks will need to be made payable to Jamie A. Lilley — but money will not be collected until your scarf is completed.

For you local folks in the Jamesville area, you can always contact me and I’ll be glad to get your order to Jamie.

Thanks in advance for your support!



Working Together for the Lord

Wim and Hylien van Rensburg

As most of you already know, the Susan’s Kids ministry provides financial and prayer support for Changing Tomorrow Children’s Foundation -   operated by Wim (pronounced Vim) and Hylien van Rensburg.   Hylien is camera shy so we don’t often get a picture with her in it.  They just celebrated their wedding anniversary last week and Hylien actually consented to having her picture taken.   I hope she won’t mind me sharing this great picture on our blog.

Wim and Hylien  love the Lord and they are being obedient to His call to minister to the children of Leratong Village in Qwa Qwa, South Africa  – as well as to many other children in crisis in the neighboring country of Lesotho.  They face obstacles on every turn.  The devil tries his best to throw up physicial roadblocks to discourage them as they try to do the work which God has called them to do.   Keep their faces in your mind and heart.  Please pray for them daily.





What was God Thinking?

It was eight years ago today that our Susan went to Heaven. When she passed away at the age of 23, our world came crashing in around us. At the time,  it appeared as if God had been stringing us along – allowing us to believe that she would survive when He knew all along that she would leave this world at 1:11 p.m. website host information on January 7, 2004. What about all the promises in His Word about healing? What about all the prayers we prayed? What about the message we received just days before she left us?

“Susan will do something big for the Kingdom. Her impact on God’s kingdom will be likened to ripples on a pond. The ripples will multiply and move outward from a central point in larger and larger circles. Susan’s life will have a far reaching effect and will bring Glory to God. Susan might even be a missionary.”

How could we possibly have known eight years ago that God was going to use Susan’s life to start weaving together a beautiful plan to help children a world away.  I imagine it hurt Him to see us so bewildered.  I imagine He wanted to come down and whisper,  “Don’t forget the message I sent you.  You don’t understand it now, but one day you will see.”

What was God thinking that day?  I can’t begin to know the mind of God, but in my mind’s eye I see Him looking ahead as we stood grief-stricken and confused in that hospital room.   I see Him looking down on Wim van Rensburg in Africa — hearing Wim struggle in prayer – wondering how he would be able to do what God wanted him to do for the children of Leratong Village.  I imagine Him looking ahead and seeing Marvin Gurganus and saying, “I will send Marvin to Africa one day soon.  He doesn’t know it yet, but I will give him a heart for the children there.  I’ll give him a clear vision of exactly how I want him to set my plan in motion and then I’ll provide what He needs to get it done.”  I imagine He spoke sweetly to Susan as she entered into Heaven and told her all about His plan for Susan’s Kids.  I imagine that made her smile.

Remembering our Susan today – but giving God all the Glory for the amazing things He has done in the last eight years.

Debbie Roberson – Susan’s Mom