“In the weeks building up to the Maranatha Workshop in June, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation mixed in with nervousness from both the Care Workers and the local Hands at Work team in Swaziland. Everyone knew that it was going to be a week set apart for God – a holy week. The week centred on 14 Care Workers from Msengeni A and B Communities and 2 young ladies from Shoka Community. Prayer from around the world, teaching from Busie and Audrey (African Leaders, South Africa), worship, ministry and support from the local Hands at Work team in Swaziland and a wider team from the Hands at Work base in South Africa poured into each day. It was clear, though, that it was not all these individuals who came with the ability to bring healing and hope, but only God. He came with such grace and power. 2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." During the week, we saw lives coming to Jesus for the first time or coming back to him after years apart. We saw levels of forgiveness which were quite miraculous because no one in their own strength would be able to bring such forgiveness, reconciliation, and ultimately, peace. As the women shared their deepest hurts, it was beautiful to see God lifting their burdens and be able to witness the beauty of relationship. The women spoke into each other’s weaknesses; encouraging, supporting and sharing how they wanted to walk the tough road ahead ‘hand in hand’. There is a journey ahead for each of these women, but for each one, they no longer walk it alone – they experienced the power of God and the beauty of their family of believers who are committed to their ‘freedom in Christ’. - Jo Poulsom, International Volunteer (UK)
“Every year, the Methodist church in the small town where we live organises a charity event for the young people in their congregation. It is a good opportunity for these young people to aid a charity which involves gaining a deeper insight into the charity, doing a fundraiser and creating artwork that represents what they have learned about the charity. This year, the church chose to focus and raise support for Hands at Work in Africa. We started off the evening by going down to the river and each of the youth collected two containers of water to carry up to the church. Once we had finished collecting water, we shared with the youth about the water situation in Msengeni Community, Swaziland. We told them about the challenges that people faced in the communities in Africa and how that compares to their lives. Then they built shelters out of cardboard to sleep in on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, the youth had the opportunity to share with the church congregation about their experiences and what they had learned.”
David and Jane Newsome, International Office Volunteers, UK, reflect on an event that was held to raise funds and awareness for Hands at Work.
Often women are the only caregiver in the home. This requires them to provide for their families and still care for their children.
At the Msengeni Care Point, there is a playground for the children to use. Many times, children are put in positions requiring more maturity than would be expected for someone of such a young age. A Life Centre gives children the freedom to play, laugh and smile. It provides them with a safe place where they can be children.
100 of the most vulnerable children in Msengeni Community receive a daily hot and nutritious meal, access to education and access to basic health care.