I have stayed in many villages this year, and I heard firsthand from the grandmothers, the children, the Care Workers, the local churches, just how much they value that you know them, visit them, support them, and I can see how resilience is built when these two worlds come together…
It's incredible. You know, I left there very encouraged. Encouraged by such amazing young leaders coming through. Encouraged by the work that we do. But, I also left more encouraged about the whole world.
I once heard somebody call the Christians in the west, 'the Believers who live in the flatlands of Duty' where everything is measured and logical and planned, and oh, of course, there is a place for Jesus on a Sunday.
This week was a beautiful week and a tough week. Didi, a young boy of about 8-years-old, shook me to my foundations this week as I watched him jumping another boy and beating him up with his fists.
What about people that depend on proper diagnosis and they don't get it?
Today I decided, just to approach my grandson, Ray Daniel, and not to warn him, not to even tell him I'm recording him or anything, but just to sit down and have a chat with an eight-year-old boy. Just trying to get into his head. Do you know that Jesus said "unless you become like one of these little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of God". So just listen to Ray Daniel. And may it deeply challenge your thinking, and your ways.
As we become detoxicated from our own culture, and so many things that we've Christian-ised under our culture, and then when we come to Africa and we mix with so many other cultures, and we study the kingdom culture and we meet girls like Amelia that so desperately need help!
At Hands at Work we say we are a tapestry that displays the beauty of Jesus. He just uses the ordinary, thick and thin, different colours, and if we allow Him, He weaves this beautiful picture of a tapestry that displays His greatness.
For the last few months, we watched the Ebola virus lingering on the outskirts of Goma. The World Health Organization described it as a perfect storm. The biggest Nightmare, and it was all over all the news headlines in the last few days.
We need to work together as 1 Corinthians 12:26, speaking about us being one body. The churches from Australia and the US and the UK and Canada and everywhere who are supporting, and the international volunteers, and the Hands African leaders and right down to the grandmothers caring for the children. We are like a pack of lions caring for our children.
Every time we dared to do it, every time when we dare to come, it humbles us. It draws us closer to God and it helps us to appreciate and understand life in such a deeper way.
The same with death. Somebody might weep softly and somebody might whisper a prayer. But the goal is just to be together. Just to share the pain with each other - as much as you share joy with each other when the child is born.
Just think about how exciting it is and how the people are constantly digging deeper and building capacity. Yes. We are still feeding. Yes, our kids are still going to school and we are still doing basic health, but much, much more than that is happening. Pray for them. Be proud of them. Be part of them.
It only takes one spark in dry grass to cause a wildfire! And that is something that we believe in. And that's something that we love, because a spark is not something major and impressive. A spark is just something small and seemingly insignificant.
She's so vulnerable. The Cyclone hit her mom and her hut, and overnight they disappeared. They left the village four hours into the bushes in a very tough area where men don't like to go.
This cannot happen! Erick can't go and visit these children if you don't support it. You are directly responsible for this incredible work.
She used to have a number of children staying in her hut. And when I stayed there, I would sit outside in the evenings around the fire, and all these kids would come sit around me. I could never have imagined that this granddaughter would one day decide just to pack up and to go.
All of it only starts with a passion. A passion about something bigger than yourself. A passion to stand up for a cause as to champion something.
We just saw a beautiful scene of a valley and the sun. Somebody commented how beautiful it is. And I could just say to them, "Yeah, we can see the beauty so easy, but can you see the brokenness around you also? Can you also see the pain?"
Everything gets pushed down, down, down, down until it reaches those at the bottom of the barrel. Our widows are now getting kicked off the piece of land that they are renting for a few dollars a month. Really just living in a corner of somebody's property in the shack.