"Growing up in the community of Sthobela, through the example of the Care Workers, I learned what it means to care for others and I realised that this is what God wanted for me regardless of my age. George Snyman and Xolani Mkwakwa (African Volunteer, South Africa) spent time visiting and talking to me about the love of Jesus. They encouraged me to connect with other youth and children in other communities who have grown up in a similar situation as me, to help rebuild the brokenness in our communities.”
Today, Sifso is helping to rebuild the brokenness as a member of the Hands at Work local office team in Oshoek, South Africa.
“The children were reminded that God made each and every one of them and they are seen as good in his eyes. Every child and care worker had the opportunity to create a visible reminder that the author of all life loves them and knows them intimately by name.”
Corrin Chow, member of the Ridgewood Team from the US, reflects on the Life centre painting project that they participated in alongside the Care Workers and the children in the community of Sthobela in South Africa.
“On one of our Holy Home Visits, we went to visit a grandmother who is living on the border of Swaziland. She has minimal contact with her daughters, many times seeing them only when they come to leave their children in her care. As she has not reached pension age, she is unable to receive government support, making it increasingly challenging to support her and her grandchildren. When we arrived at her home, no one was there. As we sat and waited, I was impressed by the Care Workers’ patience and willingness to wait for the family to come home. As I waited, the Lord reminded me of Nehemiah 9:17 - “…but You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great steadfast love; and You did not forsake them.” As I reflected upon God’s love, a question came to my mind: how is God’s love daily demonstrated to all of us? The answer came to me very clearly, that it is in His willingness to be with us in our good days and in our bad days, whether we acknowledge Him or not. He is not discouraged by our ignorance or waywardness. In truth, He chooses to love us steadfastly. In His long suffering, He waits for us to come into the knowledge of Him. Although the grandmother did not come home, I experienced an encounter of God’s love while we loved.”
Mulan, a member of the Ridgewood Team from the US reflects on a Holy Home Visit in Sthobela A Community, South Africa.
"When we arrived at the grandmother’s house, she was nowhere to be found. Thankfully, as we were leaving the property, we spotted her in a nearby field, collecting sweet potatoes. When Ma Nesta, a member of the Hands at Work local office in Oshoek, called out to her that we were there to visit her, she immediately started making her way to the dirt road that led back to her house. As she emerged from the field, it struck me how much she was hunched over, seemingly labouring with each step as she came towards us. She had a warm smile on her face, conveying a message of “welcome!” without saying a word. I left the group and went to her, thinking that I might somehow be able to help her climb the slope that separated her from where we were gathered. I said, “Sanibonani” when I reached her and attempted to shake her hand. She resisted at first, saying in English, “Dirty...” As I glanced down at her hand, dusty from harvesting and deeply cracked with age, I was compelled even more to reach out again. I was struck by how her coarse hand grasped mine with such gentleness. I gazed into her eyes, and felt like I was looking into the sweet and kind face of Jesus. As she held my hand on our walk up the slope together, I realized that she was guiding me instead of the other way around."
Suzette Lee (International Office Volunteer, US) reflects on a grandmother that she met during a Holy Home Visit in Sthobela Community, South Africa.
Ferdinand*, who is 12, lives with his family in the rural community of Sthobela. Two years ago, Ferdinand’s life drastically changed. While riding in the back of a truck on his way to school, he fell out onto the road while the vehicle was driving. He spent the following year in the hospital and at home recovering from his injuries, which set him back a year in school. On top of his already vulnerable life, Ferdinand’s file from the accident was lost in the police station and he was not able to access the therapy his body so desperately needed. #CareWorker Lily is using Ferdinand’s story to teach the other children about respect; that no matter how different people are from each other, they are equally important in God’s eyes. Because of the Christ-like examples shown by Ferdinand’s Care Worker, Lily, Ferdinand knows love and has a great hope for his future. Just recently, Ferdinand and his family received some good news – his file has been found! This means that Ferdinand’s mother can work towards receiving government compensation, as well as get her son access to the therapy he needs. Please pray for favour and healing for Ferdinand. *name has been changed #ChristOurFoundation #Prayer #ServingTheMostVulnerable
The Sthobela Care Point is a place of safety, hope, love and play for 50 of the most vulnerable children in this community.