Just a few weeks ago, Blessings had the opportunity to return to the DRC and visit Praise again. He shares an update about him and says, “This year Praise turned three. Last year when I met him, he was very sick – at two years old he was not able to stand on his own. I had very little hope that he would make it in life. We surrounded him with prayer and interceded, but I still had little hope, and doubt overwhelmed my heart.
“Last week when I was in Swaziland, talking to one of our local volunteers on the ground asking, ‘How are they doing?’ She answered me with fear in her eyes and said, ‘I don’t know if this drought is going to leave us and our children alive.’”
Royie Nazombe, Dedza local office coordinator, shares, “This feeding program had a great impact. Grandmothers and caregivers could not believe this was happening to them. I remember meeting with the grandmothers after the packages were distributed. Before, all they were eating was a small amount of vegetables for lunch and supper. I heard them say ‘today I will taste nsima for the first time’. People were very happy.”
I wake up early and spend some quiet time with God, but I know this morning is different than any other I had spent so far in Malawi. I am going to visit Chinku Community, a community quite a far distance away. I hesitate – “Is it too far? Maybe I am not up to going out today.” I make excuses. My quiet time reflects my hesitation, and I ask God, “Why am I feeling this way? Why am I hesitating?” As tears well in my eyes, I know God has something different for me today. I do not know what to pray, but I know the Holy Spirit is praying – groaning on my behalf.
I still remember the hues of vibrant rust colored dirt that coated my sandals as I looked down at my feet. I recall the blazing hot African sun beating down on my shoulders. I call to mind the enticing aroma of open air food cooking around me. Most of all I hold dear the sound of all the voices in unison singing praises to Jesus! Oh how I loved dancing with our brothers and sisters in Christ as we praised our Savior! Those beautiful memories still linger in our minds as if it were yesterday.
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. Tommy and Morgan’s stories started out from different countries, but the journey God has brought them both on has led them into a beautiful story of love, adventure, and serving Him together. Both of them being confident of God’s calling, they share their story of serving and following Christ.
Mwai* is a 15-year-old boy living in Maonde Community with his mother, Edith*. His father passed away when he was very young, leaving Edith to care for four young boys. His three older siblings no longer live with them; two of the brothers have married and the other brother has gone to find work in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. In 2014, while visiting other children in the community of Maonde, volunteer Care Workers from Chisomo Community Based Organisation (CBO) learned of Mwai’s story.
George Snyman, Hands at Work's Co-Founder, will be speaking in Canada + the US this month! If George is in an area near you, please come out to hear him speak and be encouraged and inspired by his stories and journey of following God's calling for his life.
Tanisha* has been living in Apatuku, a rural village outside the bustling city of Ibadan, for four years. Sent by her mother at the age of six to live with her grandmother, this move shifted Tanisha into a very vulnerable position, just like thousands of other girls across Nigeria. Her ailing grandmother cared for the young girl and appreciated her help as she was struggling to cook, clean, and do errands alone, but unfortunately was unable to send her to school. Together, they live in a small rented room, sharing a bed and the meager belongings the grandmother had collected. Tanisha, obedient and caring, worked hard to ensure she cared for her grandmother well, but inside she was deeply troubled. Tanisha desperately missed her mother and wanted nothing more than to go to school.
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. Florence tells her story of following Jesus in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and how compassion for the poor and knowing each child by name has defined her life.
Daytona Swarbrick (International Volunteer, Canada) reflects on the season of advent:
Time. I remember it not feeling real. The clock was relentless. The sun coming through the windows seemed frozen in time, yet in that moment, there was nothing I could do to wrestle time into submission. A countdown had started that could not be stopped.
Twice a year, Hands at Work welcomes a new intake of volunteers. In September 2014, 8 volunteers joined us to serve for one year and in February 2015 we were blessed with 13 more. They each received the same calling of God to serve in Africa, but the work He is doing in their own lives is unique. Here, some of them reflect on their journey so far in Africa.
150 children like Siyabonga* have daily experienced the love of Christ through a group of 15 dedicated volunteer Care Workers in the community of Welverdiend since 2009. These Care Workers not only understand the necessity of access to lifesaving services such as basic heath care, education and food security; they see the deep need for each child to know their Heavenly Father.
This Christmas, Hands at Work invites you to join us in giving to support the most vulnerable children across Africa. Each day, volunteer Care Workers from the local church care for the poorest children in the poorest communities in the eight countries Hands at Work serves.
Your gift to support a child will bless them with access to education, basic health care, and one nutritious meal per day. Your generosity will not only be a part of bringing life to a child, and encouraging their Care Workers, but Hands at Work believes you too will be blessed as you witness the transformation that occurs in the life of the most vulnerable children when ordinary people reach out to give them hope. Children like Lumumba…