From February 14th– April 1st, join the Hands at Work family around the world as we pray for 40 Days on behalf of the most vulnerable children in Africa and our work to support them. Jonah represents one of thousands of children being cared for by volunteer Care Workers across the communities Hands at Work supports. Read his story and join us in prayer by downloading the 40 Days of Prayer Guide.
Chisamba Community, Zambia
The community of Chisamba is located outside of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, and is where Jonah lives with his grandmother, Agnes, and older sister Royce, 13, in a home which is made of mud and sticks. Jonah has been raised by his grandmother for as long as he can remember. Before he could even walk, Agnes would carry him on her back and he would look on as she cultivated her small plot of land, often working for 12 hours a day. Today, eight-year-old Jonah accompanies his grandmother to her field when he is not in school. He plays his part in helping his grandmother to secure their future.
Approaching 80 years of age, Agnes knows that she will be unable to care for Jonah and Royce forever. Eventually Jonah and Royce will be living on their own. With a faithful determination, she has resolved to build Jonah and Royce a strong brick house – one that will withstand the full assault of the rains that fall every year. Agnes sells most of her maize – usually between 20 to 30 bags – from her small farming plot and she diligently saves these precious funds to fulfil her dream of providing a safe and secure home for Jonah and Royce. Jonah’s grandmother is planning for many years in the future; a counter-cultural example for those living around her.
There are days that Jonah goes without any food at home, but he has a source of hope and strength. Jonah and Royce attend the Care Point in Chisamba which provides them with a hot and nutritious meal every day. This fills Agnes with joy.
Happy is a local Care Worker who visits the family every week, hearing their struggles, sorrows and joys. He has become an advocate for them in very practical ways, too. When they needed blankets to keep them warm at night, Happy was able to ensure they received them. And when the kids gather at the Care Point, the Chisamba Care Workers engage them in fun and games. Together, the Care Workers are attentive to their needs as vulnerable children, ensuring that Jonah and Royce have a more secure future ahead of them, as well as Christ-like love every day. Agnes says that she knows the Chisamba Care Workers love Jonah: “Of course they do. I see it when they come to visit.”