When I was four years old my mother passed away and was followed by my father two years later. My grandma decided to take me in but I wasn’t treated kindly by the people in my village. When my grandma died in 1987, my uncle brought me to live with his family for two years before my auntie kicked me out.
When I first joined Hands at Work, I arrived totally saturated by the culture I had been raised in. But I guess this was to be expected! I had been born, raised and moulded by one particular culture and therefore carried with me certain expectations, norms and a sense of entitlement.
This advent season we invite you to join with the Hands at Work family around the world as we celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. Download the free app + calendar to your smartphone or tablet.
George Snyman will be visiting Canada and the US at the end of October to the middle of November. This is an exciting opportunity for people to come together to hear stories from Africa. We invite you to join him at one of these venues and listen to what God is doing in the lives of the orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa.
We do church mobilisation to build a relationship with the pastor because we want to hear their challenges, encourage them and show that we care. When people feel safe, they open up and engage in what God is doing in their community.
At 10 years old, Xiluva* has faced challenges that no child should ever have to face. When her father passed away in 2010, Xiluva was living with her mother and three siblings in Mudzidzi, Mozambique. When her mother remarried in early 2016, she took the children to the community of Macadeira and abandoned them with their ageing grandmother, Orpa*. Xiluva’s world fell apart.
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. For many this story began with a prompting from God:
"I felt a connection between me and the children. I felt convicted when I went out into the communities, asking myself ‘who is going to care for these kids?’ In my own life, if there were no Care Workers, I don’t know where I would be today."
As I left Africa, I felt like a part of my heart stayed behind. If my brothers and sisters in Africa were suffering as I had seen, then as a member of the international church I could no longer pretend it was not my responsibility.
I began to heal day-by-day as people prayed with me. I held a large amount of anger and sadness in my heart because of everything that had happened but I have learned how to forgive. I am thankful for what God has done for me as well as what Hands has done.
During this placement, the volunteers were out visiting communities, helping wherever was needed and observing the work of the local office teams. It was a time to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to live out the biblical mandate God has given in James 1:27, ‘to care for the orphans and widows in their distress.’
George Snyman will be visiting the UK at the beginning to middle of June. This is an exciting opportunity for people to come together to hear stories from Africa. Please join him at one of the venues below and listen to what God is doing in the lives of the orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa: