Not My Love, but His (SA)

Nora is a volunteer care worker at the Mandlesive Community-Based Organisation (CBO) in South Africa. As a care worker, she joins several other men and women who share her heart of servanthood to bring hope to the most vulnerable children in her community. The care workers visit these children regularly, offering help with homework, spiritual guidance, and a listening ear. They walk them through heartaches and encourage them to follow their Father and the plans He has for them. Evidently, their stories are every bit as compelling as those of the children whom they serve.

"After my boyfriend left me alone to care for our daughter, I started selling home grown vegetables to earn a living. It was tiring work, and often left me stressed and tired at the end of the day. At the time both my sister and my mother were very sick, and I found myself caring for them and my sister’s children in addition to my daily jobs.

My only hope was these women who would come and visit my sister each day. They taught me how to bathe her and care for her. Once my sister died and my little family gained four more, children, I decided that it was too much to bear and I needed some way to cope with my life’s situation. Then my mother passed away. This is when I asked to join these faithful women who had been devoting their days to caring for my sister and her family.

Now that I am a careworker at Mandlesive Community-Based Organisation, I couldn’t ask for a different life. I care for nine orphans by assisting them with their daily activities such as washing, cooking, helping them with their homework, just as the other careworkers cared for my family.  Giving to the community from the bottom of my heart is the reason that I get up every day; the reason that I can cope with losing my sister and my mother. There are often times where I must give up some of my family’s support in order to bring necessities to these children, and sometimes it is difficult for me to explain this to my family. Sometimes people laugh at me and tell me that I am stupid to be giving up my life to care for other people. While this hurts me, the pain of seeing a hungry child hurts more.

The Lord has overwhelmed me with his blessings. He has kept me and my family safe – there are many times where I have worked with very contagiously sick patients, and He has spared me from illness. My daughters are happy and healthy, I have sweet potatoes in the garden and mangoes on my trees, and my family has food on the table each night. I am able to love these orphans that I care for as my own children because I recognize that it’s not my love to give. Our Father has so richly blessed us with His love, and I know that the love that I show these orphans does not come from me, but Him.

Nora was recently trained by Hands at Work, through the Walking with Wounded Children Program. The training, developed by a team of counsellors and psychologists, equips those who care for children with tools to lead them on a path of healing from any emotional wounds or losses they may have experienced. This training, combined with the love embedded in the hearts of women like Nora, are bringing God’s hope to vulnerable children across Africa.