For the past four years, Chumai has suffered from epilepsy. His mother decided to return to her family because she could not deal with Chumai’s illness or those of the rest of the family, including Chumai’s father. A few months after leaving her children, Chumai’s mother remarried. Tragically Chumai’s father, Joaquim, died after falling from a platform used to dry maize cobs.
When many children were not going to school in their community of Mngwere, Malawi, Royie and Violet responded. They knew they were called to bring life to these orphaned and vulnerable children. Their vision began in 2007, when a group of people from the church Royie serves in as a pastor started caring for the most vulnerable children in Mngwere. In their poverty stricken community, mobilising the local church to sacrifice their own meagre resources to care for others was a challenge.
I met my husband Dan when I was 10, at Christian camp. He was teasing me and stole my necklace – that’s how I always remembered him. As a teenager, my friends and I toured other church’s youth events. We started going to a Bible study – turns out it was Dan’s church. He didn’t go to the Bible study, but when we heard a group of girls had started coming, there he was! We started dating; I was 16 and he still had my stolen necklace.
Ama is a 10-year-old girl from the community of Ilaje, Nigeria. When she was young her father passed away, leaving her in the care of her paralysed mother, Esther. At a very young age Ama was forced to become the breadwinner in order for her family to survive. As a result, Ama has not had the opportunity to be a child.
"When you are a part of something, a history, a family, it gives you faith. And it also helps you to learn lessons. God has allowed Hands at Work to be a part of His story, and we have a family and a history. When we know exactly where we have come from, we become resilient. We remind ourselves how He protected us in hard times, and we take courage that He would do it again." - George Snyman, Co-Founder
Honde Valley is a desperately poor community in Zimbabwe. It is here where 8 year old Nomsa* lives with her mother, Maiba*, 34, and her sister Grace*, who is 15 years old. They stay in an old house that desperately needs repair.
Our ministry in Southern Africa began in 2009 when we volunteered for three months with Hands at Work. After our first season, we knew God was calling us to return to Africa for another year. After that year, we again spent time searching God’s heart only to discover that we needed to make the move to South Africa more permanent.
When Winnie’s* father died in 2010, she was only 2 years old. Her mother, Docile, was left alone to care for Winnie and her older sister and brother. Struggling to care for the family herself, while grieving the loss of her husband, was already a heavy burden for Docile to carry.
At Hands at Work, our volunteers are called by God from all over the world to serve the most vulnerable in Africa. Each of us has a unique story of how we were transformed when we stepped out in faith and were obedient to His call.
After losing her father, Trina* was sad and confused. She struggled to cope with his death and her pain became deeply entrenched in her heart. When a new step-father came into her home, he rejected Trina as a daughter. This further loss created more inner trauma and Trina withdrew from those around her
Blessings Sambo has served with Hands at Work for many years in Zambia. As a pastor, Blessings has personally witnessed the challenges and triumphs of the local church. Today he serves as a leader with Hands at Work and supports our volunteer Care Workers throughout DRC, Malawi and Zambia.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is infamously known as one of the poorest, most dysfunctional, and warn torn countries in the world. Erick Rukang, Hands at Work Leader in Likasi, DRC, reflects on the region around Goma:
Growing up without a father is a common experience for many children in Zambia. Innocent is one of these fatherless children.Like many boys in Zambia he dreams of becoming a pilot, flying away to places he has only heard of, places that do not reflect the dire poverty in Kalende.
George Snyman, Hands at Work Co-Founder, will be speaking in the US this week. If you live in New York or Florida, come out to hear him speak! At the end of February he will be speaking in Toronto, Canada – we hope to see you there!