A Peculiar Work, a Letter from Lynn

What a peculiar work we’re a part of!

A new group of international volunteers has arrived with us at the Hub in South Africa and yesterday I heard how one of them struggled to raise funds to come here: he sold his few possessions to pay for himself to come serve the poor in Africa. Of course it had been scandalous to his friends and family, but he was convinced it was part of God’s calling for his life.

That conversation came after I’d spent the morning with a team of care workers in a Bushbuckridge village near the South African border with Mozambique. Sitting with the care workers, one of them a woman in her mid-forties, had explained to me the impact that her husband’s death had on her life: she was left to care for six children (only four were her own), she has no job and she’s battling serious health issues herself.

Nurses Mission Trip To Africa

Update 7 from Nurses for Africa on Vimeo.

This month, 16 nurses from Rosewood Care Centers in Missouri and Illinois, USA travel on a mission trip to the Republic of Zambia, in Southern Africa, a land plagued by extreme poverty and a disproportionately high number of HIV/AIDS cases. They will be encouraging the work and the people in Hands at Work in Africa’s local community based organisations.

We invite you to follow alongside the Nurses for Africa via thier journal, which will document the experience via blog entries, photos, videos and more.

For more information, please visit:

A Chance at Life (MOZ)

Laura Eliason, from Canada, and Dara Hillstrom, from the US, are nurses who have been volunteering with Rubatano Home-Based Care in Mozambique since May 2008.

While doing Home-Based Care a couple weeks ago we walked upon a visit where there was a small child who was VERY malnourished. I had never seen a child in this state before. I was with a volunteer who speaks no English so I struggled to communicate in this situation. Despite that, I knew in my heart that I could not leave this child in the state she was in. The mother’s eyes were desperate and shamed. Not knowing what to do exactly I called one of the nurses from the baby clinic at Maforga Mission. With her advisement I did all I could to talk to the volunteers and family about bringing the baby immediately to the hospital. After some planning and discussion, we were able to take the Vovo (grandmother in Shona, the local language) and baby Lucia to the hospital. Thankfully, because of the great relationship between Rubatano and the government hospital, we were able to see the nurse immediately and they admitted the baby.

A week later we returned to visit Lucia. She was a different baby. The previously listless, lethargic child now sat by herself, without crying, with a twinkle in her eye. She was to be discharged later that day. From the hospital, we advised the Vovo to bring Lucia to the baby clinic at Maforga. The wonderful nurses at Maforga have now admitted her to stay at the mission and continue to monitor her nutritional intake and status.

In meeting this child it was clear to me that God has hopes and dreams for this young heart. He was allowing her to live far longer than I would have thought her little body could hang on. I believe she has a role and a part to play in enlarging His kingdom and through Rubatano’s HBC visits they’ve given Lucia a chance at life. A chance she may not have otherwise had.

Waves Across Africa

Carly2.jpg Have you ever stopped to consider your life and wondered how you got to where you are today? I often do! If you asked me three years ago to tell you where I would be today, in May 2008, I would never have guessed that I would be living in South Africa , a part of Hands at Work in Africa. The past 3 years have changed my life completely. My name is Carly, I’m an ordinary 28 year old woman, who was living an ordinary life in Sydney, Australia. I wasn’t the type of person who dreamt big or looked to do ‘missions’, I simply prayed that God would use me, in whatever way He chose. It’s been an adventure ever since…

New Footprints Intake

Footprinters.jpg A new session of Footprints is upon us! How exciting to think that this will be our 4th group of Footprints volunteers to join the Hands at Work team for mid-term volunteer service. Training officially began on 25 February 2008, but preparations began long ago, including prayerful consideration of which projects will receive the volunteers when they complete their 10 weeks training and depart to act as “scaffolding” at our projects across Africa. Please remember to pray for them.

Looking Back on my Footprints

brooke2.jpgBrook Bruns
One bright day last May the three of us who were the February 2007 Footprints cohort, walked our final trip down the winding South African dirt road that led from our accommodation to the Hands at Work in Africa staff base. We admired the majestic view of hills filled with huts in the distance, and we teased and joked with one another, remembering our 3-months training time together and anticipating the 6-to-9-month journey we were each about to embark on at separate Hands at Work projects across Africa.

Construction Continues

Hands_Village1.jpgConstruction of the ground-breaking Hands at Work village continues! A large crew of local workers overseen by volunteer Michael Kaufman and construction manager Sal Hunziker have sweated out 10-hour days getting to roof level of the Footprints training and accommodation center and have also started the staff accommodation. A strong boost is expected on October 17 when a construction team from Westside King’s Church in Calgary arrives to lend a hand.

In a previous post it was written that Hands at Work “needs to be off ASM by the end of the year.” This was incorrecly taken by some readers to mean ASM was throwing us into the street on a whim. That is not the case. ASM is also a growing ministry, and a phased transfer over the next few months to the new property will be done in line with the expansion of both ministries. It was, in fact, ASM who generously provided the land for the new Hands at Work village. And the incredible opportunity to move together as a family of staff, footprints, and visitors to our own land far outweighs the challenges!

Footprints all over Africa

footprints-girls.jpg After cutting their teeth at the Hands at Work base in Masoyi, South Africa for 10 weeks, the February, 2007 intake of Footprints volunteers was sent out across Africa. Here’s an update.

In May, Brooke Bruns from Fargo, North Dakota arrived in Gondola, Mozambique to work as a project home-based care nurse with the Rubatano team, doing daily home visits in the community, operating a baby clinic and furthering development of a patient database system for the project. She will continue the work of two other Footprints volunteers, Sarah Irish and Ginna Hardie. They return to South Africa in mid-July before returning home to the US in late July, after serving 9 months as nurses in Gondola. Watch for Sarah and Ginna on a speaking tour of the US in September and October.

After a month of added preparation for her project, Megan Christopherson, from Phoenix, Arizona, arrived in Luanshya, Zambia