This morning I looked back on the year with Hands, and the more I reflected, the more there was to be thankful for to God in 2017. As He has done each year, He has once again faithfully provided for all of our 2017 Projects. He has done this through the generosity and sacrificial giving of you, our faithful supporters. So I am very pleased to share this news, so that together we can praise God for this!
From serving dinners to shaving heads to hosting auctions, Hands at Work Advocates are creative in raising support and awareness for Hands at Work and the most vulnerable in Africa. When teams and individuals return from Africa, they often have opportunities to share stories at different events and in their local churches. There are many ways to advocate for the most vulnerable in Africa – sharing stories with family and friends, hosting bake sales or dinners, telling people in your local church about Hands at Work, prayer and inviting others to join you, meeting together with other advocates to encourage one another, sharing on social media. The ideas are endless!
When Jill and Karl Monnick visited South Africa in July with the Sunbury Baptist Church Team, they were deeply impacted by their community visits. The team spent much of their time in Sommerset Community, but also had the opportunity to spend two days in Beeskop Community, near the Swaziland border.
Already now, teams and longer term volunteer plans are beginning to take shape for 2018. Maybe you have been wanting to visit Africa, but for some reason have not yet. Maybe God has just put Africa on your heart recently, and you would jump at the opportunity to go. Maybe you know God is calling you, but you are not sure what the next step to take is. Whatever your story is – come! Be a part of a team, or commit a year of your life.
"This past week we had 27 of our youth leaders from 5 of our communities come and spend Monday to Friday here with us. As some of our Hands leaders shared their stories, the youth opened up and shared theirs. Our hearts were broken over and over again as we sat and listened to the life stories of our young people. Some as young as 12 and 13 years old, sharing of deep loss, rejection, abandonment, unforgiveness..."
Each February, volunteers from around the world meet together at the Hub in South Africa. These are individuals, families, and couples who God has called to serve the most vulnerable with Hands at Work in Africa. In mid-February this year, a new group of volunteers traveled to South Africa to begin or continue their journeys with Hands at Work together.
Judy Riddell has always had a deep desire to serve God overseas, and after waiting many years for the opportunity, next month she will be traveling to Hands at Work in Africa for an extended time. Here, she will be serving alongside international and African volunteers, caring for the most vulnerable in Africa. Please pray for Judy, as she leaves her family, friends, and community in Australia and heads to Africa to serve. Read Judy’s story and how God has shaped her into the Godly woman she is today.
God has brought us through another year, and given us a fresh new year to let Him work in and through us. Reflecting on 2016, God has raised up new volunteers and sent teams to Africa, brought new churches on board, encouraged us through a visit by George Snyman, and showed us more of His unending and beautiful love for His people. It is our hope that you have been able to reflect on God’s goodness in your life, no matter the joys and trials that 2016 brought.