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. Melody Makusua shares her story and the journey that has led her to fully trust and serve in her local areas in South Africa and Swaziland.
When I was 12 years old, my parents separated and I remained living with my mother and younger brother. It was difficult being the firstborn because when my mum was sick I was responsible for caring for my younger brother, all whilst trying to attend school. I thank God that I managed to complete school, despite the pressure that I felt. After finishing grade 12, I went to college where I studied Computer Repair Plus Admin.
Eventually, I came across the Belfast Community Based Organisation (CBO) that was partnered with Hands at Work. Seeing the good work that it was doing, I joined as a Care Worker. I helped the children with their schoolwork and enjoyed interacting daily with them at the Care Point. When I started serving, I was a Care Worker at Belfast CBO. I had a strong sense that it was my calling to serve the most vulnerable. This was difficult because I was very vulnerable myself. I would visit children who were in similar situations to me and it would make me continually emotional. I regularly came home crying out and asking God to help me, but also to help the children who I was visiting in my community.
My journey with Hands at Work has been a blessing but also difficult and challenging. I have learnt a lot and it has shaped me into the person that I am today. Growing up, I experienced much trauma in my childhood involving my family. Today, I know who I am. I see the amazing things that God has done throughout my life and I believe that I am healed from my past brokenness. God has taught me what patience is and what it means to seek Him always, instead of trying to do things in my own strength.
In 2012 I started serving with the local Hands at Work team in Hazyview as a field co-ordinator and then eventually transitioned to being the field co-ordinator for the local Hands at Work team in Swaziland. Working in Swaziland is a great privilege and I love being able to work alongside different people, even though being away from my family for several days at a time is hard.
I can see a big transformation in my life since starting to serve with Hands at Work. I can solve problems immediately by looking at them from a different point of view. I am willing to go through the challenges that I face through work and life because I know that I have support around me. I am able to serve in many communities and I love being able to support them in different ways. I love that I can be a positive influence for the Care Workers who I am walking alongside and, because I also grew up vulnerable, I can sometimes see things that others don’t notice.
Serving within the Hands at Work community has been a huge encouragement for me. I get to meet different people and do life alongside them. I love having a big extended family at Hands at Work. I have grown spiritually in my relationship with God and feel honoured to be able to continue serving God in everything that I do. In order to continually be able to serve the most vulnerable, I make sure that I pray before I do, listen to the Holy Spirit before I do, and have that connection with God before I do, instead of going with what my head tells me to do. The biggest highlight that has come out of me joining Hands at Work is becoming the Melody that I am today, which I am happy about.”
Melody lives in Belfast, South Africa, with her husband, Douglas. She continues to serve as a member of the local Hands at Work team in Swaziland.
Are YOU being called? Come!