One component of a healthy and holistic Life Centre is the provision of basic facilities. This includes toilets, cooking shelters and spaces for our children and Care Workers to gather. Our dream is to see these physical spaces transformed into welcoming, colourful and attractive facilities which reflect values of life and care. While a team from Australia was in Zimbabwe, they had the opportunity to support the Care Workers and children with the painting of the Chinaka A Life Centre building. The Care Workers and church leaders with support from the local Hands at Work team in the Honde Valley, took full ownership of the project - excited at seeing the building become bright with vibrant colours. As the children painted, the team was so supportive and encouraging. It was beautiful to see the vision of local community ownership come alive!
Six-year-old Garai* lives only with his father, Runako*, after his mother ran away from the family home. Runako struggles with alcohol abuse and Garai was found by Care Worker Regina, malnourished in body and spirit. When Garai first came to the Care Point, the focus was on his physical health. After several weeks of eating nutritious food, there was a big change in his health. A smile can be seen on his face now as he plays with other children. The focus now is upon healing Garai’s emotional wounds.
Life has not proved easy for 14-year-old Peter*. Even though he can laugh with his friends, the painful memory of his parents’ deaths still plagues him regularly. After he lost his parents, Peter went to stay with his grandparents and his cousins, who had also been left in their care. The family are, in every way, defined as vulnerable, living in the mountains and far from any prospects of gainful employment.
When local volunteer Care Worker, Rosemary, met Peter, she responded with compassion and understanding. She had personally experienced this life-giving compassion – one that comes from knowing Jesus – and she desired to bring that to suffering children like Peter. Rosemary knows just how hard life can be for a young man, growing up with such instability. Rosemary also knows that children who are hurting, without any intervention, can go on to hurt others. But equally, children who have experienced healing can grow up to be vessels of healing and hope for others. Rosemary brought Peter under her wing as part of the Care Point, to experience this for himself.
"Please join us in praying for our Life Centres in Zimbabwe. This April, they have increased the number of children in four of our communities; Chinyausunzi, Pimai B, Pimai C and Chinaka. We are so thankful that these children are now receiving access to food, education and health care but more than that, we are thankful that they are getting to experience the love of Jesus through the Care Workers. Please pray that they will feel a sense of belonging and that they will grow in their knowledge and understanding of Jesus. Also, pray for our local office teams and Regional Support Teams as they serve these communities, especially as they begin to invite new people to join their teams."
Kara McLaughlin (International Volunteer, Australia) shares a prayer request for the communities in Zimbabwe.
The local pastors in Chinaka, Zimbabwe, are busy advocating for their most vulnerable children and the work the Care Workers are doing. They are there any time they are needed, whether it be clearing land for the Care Point or encouraging the Care Workers.
In Chinaka Community, #Zimbabwe, #CareWorkers are caring for and supporting 125 of the most vulnerable children. At the present time, Hands at Work is working with the community to build a new Care Point – a #LifeCentre for the children. The Care Workers and the local pastors have taken a lead in this construction by making bricks, clearing roads and helping to dig pits for toilets. There has been a well built for water and a fence put around the Care Point. The construction of the main building and toilets will be happening in the near future. This is an exciting development for a community who truly understands what it means to care for each other.⠀- #LocalChurch #CaringForTheMostVulnerable
Tyler Ralph ( #InternationalVolunteer, #Canada) reflects on local pastors’ involvement in #Zimbabwe: ⠀⠀⠀ “Farai and the local office team in Mutare are busy trying to engage pastors from the local community of Sakubva. Many of these pastors have been around for years, but there was a need to challenge them in the way that they support both Sakubva and Chinyausunzi Community Based Organisations (CBO). Farai and the team brought the pastors from Mutare up to Honde Valley to visit Chinaka Community. They chose Chinaka because the pastors there are very dedicated to the work, constantly supporting the Care Workers in their spiritual growth. ⠀
⠀⠀ The Sakubva pastors were able to hear about God’s heart for the vulnerable children as well as hear from the Chinaka pastors about their involvement in the CBO. The Sakubva pastors shared that they felt convicted because they were not doing their best to support the children. They committed to being more intentional in the work that is happening in Sakubva and Chinyausunzi.”#LocalChurch
125 of the most vulnerable children in Chinaka Community receive a daily hot and nutritious meal, access to education and access to basic health care.