As Hands at Work (Canada) Society we are blessed to hear testimonies from teams and visitors who have gone to Africa to experience what God is doing. Their stories tell of a transformation not only in the lives of those they meet in Africa's poorest villages but also of transformation in their own hearts and lives. These stories of everyday people meeting Jesus in the faces of the most vulnerable, for even a short period of time, reminds us of God's presence among the weak and poor and His desire that we seek Him there to experience and participate in His love. This year we had the privilege of sending seven Canadian teams to experience this transformative work first hand.
Both the Serve and Learn Team (SALT) and the Short Term Service Team are international opportunities and not limited to Canadians. SALT is a two month commitment that takes a team deep into 3 African countries to build relationships with local volunteers. The Short Term Service Team is a two week opportunity based in South Africa that takes teams into several different communities.
Here are just a few reflections from some of the individuals that were part of the teams that visited Hands at Work in Africa.
“Seeing the transformation in the kids over two weeks was a highlight. How they treated each other and all of us. I could see all the pieces adding up to something bigger.” – Hayley (Westside Kings Church)
“A challenge for me was looking at the choices we have. I don’t think it’s okay that the kids don’t have shoes – but I do think it’s okay they have so much joy. Maybe in some ways, I am poor too.” – Nicole (Westside Kings Church)
“I felt God pulling me here for a reason, and I figured out the reason. It touched me so much. I am not usually a vulnerable person, but now I want to be way more vulnerable.” – Kwynn, 14 (The Bridge Church)
“I saw burns and cuts that won’t heal properly because they don’t have money to get fixed at a hospital. It’s not fair. They need treatment. I felt feet, calloused and strong and rough feet as we washed the Care Worker’s feet. Thursdays have been the hardest, I don’t know why.” – Logan, 13 (The Bridge Church)
“I heard a ton of laughter from our team and in the community. I saw kids who crave touch. I felt broken for the kids and Care Workers, I felt admiration and compassion for the Care Workers.” – Frank (The Bridge Church)