At Hands at Work we are blessed to hear testimonies from visitors who have come to Africa to experience what God is doing. Their stories tell a transformation of not only what they have seen in the lives of those they meet here, but in their own hearts and lives. These stories of everyday people who meet Jesus in the faces of the most vulnerable for even a short period of time, tells of God’s great desire to change us so we will never be the same.
Martin in ZambiaMartin Hagen visited Hands at Work, spending time in Zambia and South Africa. From Germany, Martin works with business leaders during the day, but has felt a strong call on his life to serve those most in need. Here he reflects on the impact his time in Africa had on his heart, and the work God began and continues to grow in his life back in Germany.
In Mulenga I met Clara. Clara’s husband has passed away, and she has four children. She has no job, no caring family, no electricity, and has to get water from a well. Her toilet is outside, where some plastic sheets around a hole in the ground also serve as her bathing place. This whole situation was very difficult for me to see. For Clara, life didn’t offer very much. Clara lies at the door of her home, suffering from cancer. Lonely. I have learned that one thing seems to be true everywhere in the world: nobody wants to be with the poor and the sick people. So she is on her own, and has been for a long time.
Her young children have been the first to help their mother. They stopped going to school and tried to earn a little bit of money in order to get some food. It is all about survival.
Now, the Care Workers are supporting Clara. They go with her to the hospital, but there is little that can be done for Clara. She continues to suffer physically. When I visited her I realised, all we can do is just be with her. I was asked to pray at the end of the visit. Imagine: What can you pray for in a moment like this? The whole situation seems so desperate.
But to my surprise, praying was such a wonderful experience. In that very moment I knew how to express my gratitude to God - to feel HIS light in the darkness of this community and to feel HIS embrace in an environment where few people truly care about the poor. He is the One giving love, giving hope, even if it doesn´t feel reasonable to hope.
On that day, we were all very moved. And Clara was so grateful. We asked her if there was anything we could do for her - and there was only one thing: to be visited once and again.
Come to Africa. Experience what God is doing.