Looking Back on 2013

This Year From Australia:

3 Teams visited Southern Africa for 2 week mission trips

2 Aussies from VIC & NSW joined the SALT (Serve and Learn Team) for 2 months

1 Western Australian joined the International Team in South Africa

2 Aussies from Sydney have served this year in Africa, and one of those is committed to serving next year as well.

3 Australians work long-term in Africa with Hands at Work.

Plus other individuals from Australia were able to experience firsthand some of what Hands at Work in Africa do and how they care for the Orphaned , Vulnerable and Widowed in 8 countries of Africa and in over 60 of the poorest of  the poor Communities.

 

It has been an exciting year which has impacted the lives of all who have been across to Hands at Work in Africa, whether for 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years or more.  Leyton Wood and Melissa Warren, our year-long volunteers have been deeply impacted since they joined the February volunteer intake in February.  Leyton has been working with some of the distant hands communities in Zimbabwe, near the city of Sakubve and the rural Honde Valley.  He saw first hand just how broken these societies are, how deep the needs of the orphans, and how much support the careworkers need in these broken places.  But he also witnessed God working in amazing ways, revealing His strength in their extreme weakness (2 Cor 12:10). 

Melissa recently visited a desperate community in Mozambique, where there is no 1st world support - where the careworkers have only what they can gather from their own resources.  In her words:

 "I have been privileged to sit in the dirt with grandmothers and children who I now know by name, who have not eaten for days and do not know where their next meal is coming from but who have opened their homes and lives to me and generously given from their absolute lack; I have sat in tiny dark shacks and shared the love of Christ in what seem like utterly hopeless situations trying to hold back the tears as I have witnessed true faith and what it means to believe and trust in God when it seems like He is not there; I have experienced the loss too many times of amazing care workers and kids in our communities (often from curable diseases) and gotten angry and questioned the injustice;"

Not many get this unique opportunity to see God at Work so vividly as was seen by these two young Australians  but the good news is that Hands at Work in Africa encourage our supporters to go……… they want us to visit these poorest of poor communities where there is little or no aid - to get to know careworkers and children by name.  From experience this made a huge impact on my life and I would love others to experience this too.

God’s heart is so much with the vulnerable: Orphans and Widows.  He refers to himself as Father to the fatherless and Defender of the widow (Psalm 68:5).  He cares for them deeply and asks us to do likewise.  There are many bible verses that express this but I have chosen James chapter 1 verse 27:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

 

What a great encouragement and challenge for us to follow our Father's Heart and care for and advocate for the vulnerable.  We can tell others their stories and can directly help by praying and giving according to our means.  You can make a difference in the life of a child for just a few dollars a week. Will you commit to provide care for a child next year?   Please visit the website  www.handsatwork.org/au-donate.  You can click on “Give Now” or fill out the pdf Arise+Build form to support young, vulnerable lives.

$20 per month will change the life of an orphan, providing Food, Education and Basic Healthcare for one month.  When you think of it this way – we are giving up a cappuccino a week - but they are receive hope, care and survival.  I can tell you from visiting face-to-face that over 80% of the funds directly reach the child.