All Hands on Deck: The South Africa/Swaziland Celebration 2011

In early April a group of local church leaders, friends of Hands, and Hands at Work staff and volunteers got together at the Hub just outside White River to talk about Who, What, Where and How we are.

Sensing God's favour on the day, the Hands at Work team were up at the crack of dawn to set up. By the time guests arrived, lively chatter and upbeat music filled the air.


WHY Hands at Work

George Snyman, Hands at Work founder, spoke first and said that he hoped the day would give everyone a good glimpse of the family's handiwork.

George showed the child mortality rates of the countries that Hands is working in (see a PDF of his PowerPoint slides linked below) and asked of each person: "What would God do with His available resources if one out of five of His children did not reach the age of five?"

Then a second question to chew over: "According to the indicators, it is life endangering for a girl to go to school in sub-Saharan Africa. How can this be when Africa is the most evangelized place on the planet?"

"Every month there are 180,000 new orphans. The number of orphans due to HIV/AIDS continues to grow and grow," he went on to say. "There is no time to be quiet when 6,000 children will walk back to their huts as orphans. We cannot tell them about Christ alone, we need to show them Christ's love through our actions."

Hands at Work needs partners who can speak on our behalf, George appealed ending off with the Hands at Work Watchword for 2011:

"It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for." - Ephesians 1:11 (The Message)

View George's PowerPoint slides here.

Unfortunately, due to power interruptions, we were unable to record George's full talk for download here.


WHO, WHAT, WHERE and HOW: A Snapshot of Hands at Work

Long-standing Hands at Work volunteer and leader, Lynn Chotowetz, shared on A Snapshot of Hands at Work.

Hands at Work is currently getting its hands dirty in eight countries. These countries are grouped in four regions reaching out to 65 both rural and urban, impoverished communities.  

"Our vision is that these communities will care for the orphaned and vulnerable. Our job is to support them, to enable them," Lynn said. "We need Hands representatives in these areas to do so. We are not pulling children out of their homes, they must stay in their communities and be rooted where they are. And we must support the people caring for these orphaned and vulnerable children."

Lynn went on to explain how the Hands at Work model works: "We want to see the local church support the people who are caring for these children and the widows and dying. But we don't work with one church only, we bring the local churches together to form a 'vehicle' to care for these orphans: A community-based organisation."

The community-based organisation (CBO) is underpinned by Hands at Work satellite offices called service centres. Regional teams, in turn, are in place to support the service centres.

Hands at Work believes in providing the Church outside of the community-in-need with the opportunity to partner with the local Church to, together, answer the Biblical mandate: "To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." 

Both within the local community and outside its borders, "our overarching goal is to see more churches involved in South Africa," Lynn concluded.

Listen to Lynn's complete talk here.

View Lynn's PowerPoint slides here.