When our first team of six men returned to Wellspring Church (N. California, USA) from their eye-opening visit to South Africa in 2005, all of us at Wellspring became introduced to George and Carolyn Snyman, founders of Hands at Work.
For these brothers, that visit was a life-changing event that God used to mark them with an indelible imprint of the faces and lives touched by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In October 2006, the Snymans had an opportunity to visit Wellspring to share of God's call for them to care for the poor, sick, and dying, and to remind us of God's heart for and the biblical mandate to care for the widow and orphan. Needless to say, this visit was instrumental in serving as a catalyst for those who would join the next team to Mpumalanga , South Africa.
Our next visit came last July and was indeed an opportunity to witness God's works of mercy and compassion through the body of believers in the midst of much suffering and loss. What a humbling time it was for the team to come alongside the brothers and sisters at both Hands at Work and Masoyi, not only to put our "hands" and "feet" to work, but for our hearts to be touched by the Father's deep abiding love for the truly forsaken and most vulnerable. James 1:27 teaches that "[R]eligion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
As we look ahead at how the Lord will continue to guide our partnership with Africa, we pray and anticipate that our involvement in Africa will not only bring about much-needed awareness about the HIV/AIDS crisis to churches in N. America, but will provide an avenue to advance the Gospel message of Christ in both word and deed.