At Hands at Work, our volunteers are called by God from all over the world to serve the most vulnerable in Africa. Each of us has a unique story of how we were transformed when we stepped out in faith and were obedient to His call. Sesinyana shares her story and the journey that has led her to serve in her home country of South Africa
I grew up with my mother and younger brother but not knowing who my dad was. My mother loved us and tried her best to give us a normal life. She worked in the Kruger Park to support us. In the year 2000, my family was in a car on the way home from church when I heard a gunshot. I looked down and my mother had fallen into my lap. She was taken to the hospital but had already passed away. In that instant, the life that my brother and I knew was gone. I was now a 12-year-old girl left with the responsibility of caring for my younger brother.
Initially, my brother and I lived alone in our house but eventually our auntie brought us to live with her family. We thought that life with our auntie would be better, however this was not the case. When we moved in, we were required to look after her kids and do all the household chores. I remember once saying that I was tired but was told that if I didn’t help then my brother and I wouldn’t eat or have a place to stay. We were working extremely hard to have the basic necessities needed to even survive.
That same year we met a lady in the community of Masoyi called Esther. She was a Care Worker, volunteering at the Masoyi Home Based Care. When our mother passed away, Esther came to visit our home and invited us to join the Masoyi Care Point. We started to receive monthly food parcels, access to education and access to basic health care. Our Care Workers would go to our school and explain our situation, helping us to receive free books and school fees. Through the support of Hands at Work, the Masoyi Care Point provided my brother and I with school uniforms, food parcels and they built us a two-roomed house in 2005. After the house was built, we stopped living with our aunt. It was challenging to move back on our own, knowing that we needed to look after ourselves. But we decided that it was better to stay by ourselves than struggle living with our aunt. We continued to be visited by our Care Workers and volunteers from Hands at Work.
I didn’t graduate high school the first time around but I joined the Hands at Work ‘Forward Education’ program in 2008 which prepared my peers and I to go on to university. This program helped me pass Grade 12. I Following this in 2010, I got a job in a lodge in White River as a waitress and assistant chef. I worked there until 2012 when my daughter was born and I was to be married.
In 2014 I came to volunteer with Hands at Work because I desired to help others in the same way that others had helped me. I started serving with the hospitality team. I love hospitality and I think that God knew that I needed to be a helper. I grew up growing up to church and at 14 years old, I was baptised. Though I have made mistakes in my life, I have recommitted myself to Christ. I feel called to serve the most vulnerable because I know what it is like to be vulnerable. I know what it is like to have needs but not have those needs met. I want to care for others because people cared for me. It is my chance to give back to those who are struggling.
I love reading Psalm 121 because it reassures me that there is nowhere else I can get help. God is where my help comes from. When I feel tired, stressed or overwhelmed, I have a place where I can cry to.
Sesinyana lives in Masoyi, South Africa with her husband and two daughters, the second who arrived in November 2017. She continues to serve as a member of the Hospitality Team.
Are YOU being called? Come!