Serving in their homeland of Zambia
At Hands at Work, our volunteers are called by God from all over the world to serve the most vulnerable in Africa. Each of us has a unique story of how we were transformed when we stepped out in faith and were obedient to His call.
Levy and Pragcidence (Prag) Mwenda both grew up in Zambia. Levy was attending Bible College in 1999 when George Snyman (Co-Founder, Hands at Work) came to speak about HIV/AIDS. Many people were dying from HIV/AIDS but the stigma around the disease was so great that people were not discussing it openly. Levy had been raised in the belief that people became infected because they had sinned. George spoke about how the church needed to be caring for those who were dying, and he brought Levy into the homes of these patients. Levy was scared he would become infected, but as he watched George bathe the dying so they could die with dignity, his heart began to change. Levy knew he was being called to also help those who were dying.
Levy went to South Africa in 2003 where he enrolled in the nursing program at Africa School of Missions. He also began serving as a Care Worker with Hands at Work in the community of Masoyi where he went into the homes of patients, bathing and caring for those dying from HIV/AIDS. When anti-retroviral drugs became available in South Africa, those affected by HIV/AIDS began to live longer, but left behind were the orphaned children of an entire generation. Hands at Work began to develop a holistic model of care for these very children. Levy began expanding this work across South Africa and into the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. While back in Zambia, he met Prag.
When Prag was five, her parents divorced and her dad abandoned his six children. “He said we would be like the morning dew on the grass – there and then gone”, says Prag. “It brought bitterness into my heart as I grew up.” One day, Prag was at church when her pastor’s wife asked her to help cook for a kids camp for vulnerable children being held at Kachele, the Hands at Work base in Zambia. Prag had always felt compassion for children who were growing up in challenging situations like she had, and as she served at these kids camps, she felt the calling on her life grow stronger; to dedicate her life to the most vulnerable children. She joined a group of people from the church who were trained in caring for the most vulnerable children. She also continued going to Kachele to cook, where she got to know Levy. Soon after, Prag moved to South Africa to join Hands at Work as a full time volunteer, and in 2009 Prag and Levy were married!
In 2012, Levy and Prag returned to Zambia, and today they live at Kachele with their two daughters. As leaders, Levy and Prag carry responsibility for the Hands Community at Kachele. Prag also supports in hospitality and kids camps, and Levy serves on the Executive Team and as Regional Support Team Co-Leader for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, and Zambia.
Looking back on this journey and his calling, Levy says, “God placed George as a mentor and father to me. God placed me in Bible School and then in Nursing School. When Hands began caring for children, I had to use the skills I had learned in caring for patients in a different way. I have no papers that qualify me to do community development; I just try to be hands and feet for God to use. I had to understand that the wounds that were on the outside of the patients I cared for, were now on the inside of the kids we were caring for.”
“God put me through storms so I could have a heart to care for other children who are from broken families,” Prag says. “Levy and I both come from broken families, and when I got to Hands at Work I realised how much bitterness I was carrying in my heart. Here, my heart became completely healed – I let go of grudges and found a new family.” Prag and Levy’s calling from God to serve the most vulnerable children has led them to make Hands at Work their home. As Prag says, “For us, Hands at Work and the Hands Community is our life, we have committed fully. We mean it. We will be the last one’s standing.”
Are you being called?
Learn more about volunteering with Hands at Work: www.handsatwork.org/come