Yes. We are in a generation where fathers are few and far in between. And we know the saying that one father is better than 100 schoolmasters together. And when you can be a present father for your children, you've accomplished the most amazing thing in your life.
Recently Carolyn and I walked into a hospital and a lady, one of the nursing staff, came, and she stopped in front of us and she called us in our Zulu names. She said to us "Unjani Baba Sipho? Nkosinkazi Zinhle". How are you George? And Mama Zinhle - Carolyn. And we looked at this girl and then we recognized her.
We constantly hear about us and them, rich and poor, white and black, male and female. It's enough to make us despondent.
We are truly part of a good story. We understand the beauty of the truth that we are part of a ministry of reconciliation, we live to bring reconciliation, to build bridges, to reach out, to be generous, to give freely.
This year, as I visited many Hands at Work communities in Africa, I became so painfully aware of just how tough it is to be so vulnerable. How small of a margin of error these people have between survival and absolute tragedy.
As the granny shared her burdens with us, and Xolani patiently allowed her to speak more and more, I saw something remarkable happening in front of me. I've spoken so much about it. I always confessed that I believe it and I truly do, but to watch it happen in front of you is absolutely remarkable.
In Oshoek, we went to one of our Care Points. And there I met a girl, twelve-years-old, whom I stayed with more than two and half years ago with her mom, her two brothers. And I was deeply taken that night, even in the midst of deep poverty, how a mom was caring for her and protecting her. When I met her on Friday, my heart was absolutely broken.
One of the greatest joys and privileges that I have in my role in Hands at Work is to watch people as they discover this dormant compassion hidden in them, and it gets unlocked.
I was just thinking about some of the highlights that I've had and they were so many. I think the one I like, that stood above all the others for me, was the children that I met in Australia. And that encouraged me so much. Well, one of them is a boy, Riley, 7-years-old.
Well, Catherine gave me some feedback this last week, and she said to me, "I wish you with there to see the face of Ken when I shared this news with him." She said it was priceless, watching this young boy, 12-years-old, who's got nobody who loves him but his grandmother. She's the only family member left.
This episode was recorded at an earlier date from the Hub.
And these children just feel destitute. They feel lonely. They feel unwanted. They feel nobody cares. So of course, in Hands at Work we are so strong on, "I know your name. We care about you."
We all know that song 'You're a Good Good Father, so well. Such beautiful words. I love to sing that. But, recently when I was in a Democratic Republic of the Congo, deep in the mountains with a young girl called Vumi, whose father wanted to sell her, whose mother and siblings were killed in front of her. I wondered, "How do I explain to Vumi if she listened to me seeing the song You're a Good Good Father?"
"You know, I was nearly dead a year and a half ago. Nobody could help me. I was just wasting away in my hut. Rashid heard about this, and he came to see me. And for three days, he prayed non-stop until I got healed." And by now her face is beaming. She said, "I was healed. Rashid stood in the gap. Today, whatever I did, is because of Rashid."
Early the next morning Levy and I and a Care Worker who came with us, Bethuel, were up before the sun came up. Maybe it's because the ground was so hot. But, we were speaking to each other saying, "What does God's word say about this grandmother? How do we translate the good news to her?"
there are people around us that encourage us, pray for us and support us, and it's beautiful. And I really believe that this no place for lonely people in the kingdom of God. We are called to work together.But you know every now, and then you meet the individual that is just faithfully chipping away, because they are so determined to make a difference. And you watch them, and you're just awe-struck by them. You're just inspired by them.
We listen to the birds, and we feel like we are in Paradise. The most beautiful place God created. Two or three hours later in the darkness we hear people crying out in pain and suffering. How can all of it be together in one place?
Our vision is clear! Our goal is clear! Our core values are clear! Simplistic living, reaching out in diversity and loving and making a life matter. Making your life count. How much can your life really mean? How deep and rich can it be when you reach out to people?
It's the story about Lydia, a grandmother, and Prince, a young orphan boy that she found in the community after his mom died. And there was literally nobody left to care for Prince. He was only a few months old when Lydia took him in. She was a widow, a grandmother of mature age when she took Prince in and he had absolutely no food to share with Prince.
I often wonder, How would I survive? No, no, not just how would I survive. How would I live. How would I dream? How would I be positive, If I had to live in one of these villages.
As you see the maize fields and how desperately people need rain, after they have poured in all of their resources, you feel the despair yourself, but there is such an energy and optimism.
Peter was a hard-working man. He plowed the field, made charcoal and had chickens and looked after his family well. Everything suddenly changed for his wife, Katherine, and their five children in 2015.