Hannah and Farzam Mohajer, long-time friends of Hands, along with their two young girls, left their home in Canada in September 2016 to join Hands at Work. Currently, they are serving in South Africa. Hannah reflects on the impact of her time in Africa thus far, and how it has sown seeds into the lives of her daughters.
“‘Why do the children have fly toilets?’ came the little voice, as I tucked Hope, my 3-year-old, into bed that night. The deepest things in children often come out just before bedtime. We had spent the day out in Sommerset, a community in South Africa. The team had just finished a Maranatha Workshop for the children and Care Workers they support, which had been run out of a local church. I had taken my daughters to join in for the ‘celebration day’. Farzam, my husband, and I are always eager for our kids to spend time out in the communities. They usually love playing with the children, and we as parents feel so grateful to be exposed to life in new ways as a family. This particular morning had been hot and humid, a blazing African summer day in which the air covers you like a thick blanket, often predisposing one to irritability. When Hope asked to urgently go to the bathroom, she was already feeling quite overwhelmed by the environment. Upon stepping into the long drop hut, and seeing dozens of flies buzzing around the dirty, smelly hole in the ground, she panicked and cried, becoming increasingly worked up. It took a long time of cajoling and counselling to help her to complete her mission amongst the bugs.
‘Do you think its ok Hope for the children to have toilets like that?’ I ask her in reply. She shakes her head, sitting up in bed, her heart woken up with compassion. We go on to talk about what kind of things are not ok for children, what she wishes for them, and what Hands at Work is doing to help the new friends she’d played with that day. The issue isn’t about installing fancy toilets in the communities, but rather, from a 3-year-old’s perspective, it’s about recognising inequality in her world, and responding to the injustice in her heart. As we pray that night, I sense God has given her a special understanding into the piece that she and our family are playing in this puzzle. Into why we have come here to Africa, leaving behind our life and loved ones in Canada, following Christ to serve the least of these. And as I kiss her forehead and turn out the light, my heart prays that this moment would sow seeds in her little heart about the greatest servant; the story of a father who moved heaven and earth to send his son to rescue us, the least of these.”