In July, Phil McLaughlin led a team from Sunbury Baptist Church, Australia, to South Africa, where he spent two weeks with the team in various communities, and one week supporting a building project in Sommerset Community. He reflects on worship and justice.
These are the responses of the Sunbury Baptist Church Team, Australia, when asked to describe their team trip to South Africa in one word or sentence. God truly was a faithful Father and showed the team His heart for the most vulnerable. They returned with impacting stories and life-changing perspectives.
Today, the first team from Australia will be heading to South Africa. Phil and Rachel McLaughlin are leading a team from Melbourne, leaving June 29, and about a week later, Leyton Wood and Tamara McLaughlin will be leading a team from Sydney to South Africa. As these two groups from Australia head across to South Africa, we encourage you to keep them daily in your prayers. We are expectant that God will greatly bless both teams and the communities they visit!
Advocates are always coming up with creative and new ideas to raise awareness for the most vulnerable people in Africa. Rob and Helen Shaw, based in Australia, have been advocating for Hands at Work for the past few years, creatively finding ways to be a voice to voiceless, whether it be busking at the local farmer’s market or their latest venture – biking across Canada!
Throughout the past few weeks I have had a number of opportunities to walk alongside our African brothers and sisters as they tirelessly fight for justice (making wrong things right) in their own communities. I have witnessed them being Jesus’ hands and feet. Running headlong into the darkness. Bringing the true ‘light’ to the darkest of places.
Stay connected with Hands at Work to hear what is happening on the ground in Africa, and around the world as we unite with the international church to bring hope to the hopeless. Hear what is inspiring us, read stories of transformation among the most vulnerable, and stay informed with how you can serve as we are called together to serve our brothers and sisters in Africa.
“I planted 12 meda* of soya beans, I expected to harvest 18-20 x 50 kg bags. I only harvested 2 bags.”
“I planted 20 kg of maize seed, I expected to harvest 60 x 50 kg bags. There is no harvest; the rains just did not come after I planted.”
“I planted 15 kg of maize seed. From planting the same amount of seed last year, I harvested 32 x 50 kg bags. This year I only harvested 12 bags.”
Just a few weeks ago, Blessings had the opportunity to return to the DRC and visit Praise again. He shares an update about him and says, “This year Praise turned three. Last year when I met him, he was very sick – at two years old he was not able to stand on his own. I had very little hope that he would make it in life. We surrounded him with prayer and interceded, but I still had little hope, and doubt overwhelmed my heart.
This Christmas, Hands at Work invites you to join us in giving to support the most vulnerable children across Africa. Each day, volunteer Care Workers from the local church care for the poorest children in the poorest communities in the eight countries Hands at Work serves.
Your gift to support a child will bless them with access to education, basic health care, and one nutritious meal per day. Your generosity will not only be a part of bringing life to a child, and encouraging their Care Workers, but Hands at Work believes you too will be blessed as you witness the transformation that occurs in the life of the most vulnerable children when ordinary people reach out to give them hope. Children like Lumumba…
Join with us this Christmas as we pray for Africa’s most vulnerable and Hands at Work. As God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born, His birth brought great joy to the world. In the midst of His vulnerability on earth, He brought a heavenly peace and hope, which we still have today. This time of year, we celebrate the great love He has shown each of us by being made low and born in a lowly feeding trough. Journey with us over twelve days, as we look at Christmas in a different way.
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. Farai tells his story of following Jesus in Zimbabwe, and how compassion for the poor and a desire to mobilise the local church has defined his life.
At Hands at Work, we are continually blessed by international teams who travel to Africa to be a part of God’s work among the most vulnerable people. We strive to embrace our short term teams as not guests, but family. Our desire is they will not stand on the outside and look in, but be on the ground, confronted by God’s heart for those who suffer, and challenged to serve with the love of Jesus. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together – 1 Corinthians 12:26
Praise’s grandmother Bertha began caring for him, but she was desperately poor and trying to survive. Praise was hungry - continually crying. People in the community said he would die and tried to put ritual charms around him but Bertha refused and knew God would provide. After her husband passed away many years ago, she said she learned to trust God throughout any hardship.
Ama is a 10-year-old girl from the community of Ilaje, Nigeria. When she was young her father passed away, leaving her in the care of her paralysed mother, Esther. At a very young age Ama was forced to become the breadwinner in order for her family to survive. As a result, Ama has not had the opportunity to be a child.
At Hands at Work, our volunteers are called by God from all over the world to serve the most vulnerable in Africa. Busisiwe (Busie) Sityata-Jones was born and grew up in South Africa, experiencing the effects of apartheid on her own people. For over ten years she has served with Hands at Work, and today she serves as one of our key leaders in Southern Africa.
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. Melissa (Mel) Warren is from Australia and currently supports our local leaders in Zambia at Kachele Village.
Levy and Pragcidence (Prag) Mwenda both grew up in Zambia. Levy was attending Bible College in 1999 when George Snyman (Co-Founder, Hands at Work) came to speak about HIV/AIDS. Many people were dying from HIV/AIDS but the stigma around the disease was so great that people were not discussing it openly. Levy knew he was being called to also help those who were dying.
Jed and his wife, Brooke, had talked for many years about serving others. “Although my mouth was willing, I don’t know that my mind or heart really understood what I was getting into”, Jed says. They spent a long time trying to find a missions organisation to serve with, and struggled to find a good fit. “Which was fine with me,” Jed says. “I liked my job, my friends, and had a fairly comfortable life.”
As workshops are held throughout each of our communities across Africa, testimonies of the transformation occurring in our Care Workers lives are being told by our local leaders as they witness the work of God in many lives.. As the revelation of His sacrifice and love becomes real to our Care Workers, they are experiencing a completely new reality and a completely new Saviour.