"I will not do crime" (SA)

A new team of short-term volunteers arrived at the Hub in South Africa in February this year. Armed with compassion, humility and an open mind, they embarked on a four-day community stay to conclude their orientation programme.

The team of six returned with a sparkle in the eye and many stories: some humorous, some sad, some hopeful.

Tommy, from England, and Jon, a Canadian, spent their weekend with Silo Ngobeni in Clau Clau, a semi-rural settlement in the north-eastern province of Mpumalanga.

20-year-old Silo is only in grade 11. Since his mother died in 2008, he has been living alone in a one-room, make-shift house. On first impression life doesn’t seem too bad. Silo seems to have all the essentials: food, clothing, water, a bed, even electricity.

As the weekend unfolded, though, it became obvious that Silo is a very lonely young man. He told Tommy and Jon that often he doesn’t have anything substantial to eat for as long as a week on end. Despite the hardship, however, Silo is determined not to revert to crime. Instead he looks to God for help.

Silo wrote two short stories that he has agreed to share:

Reality for Joas and Luisa (MOZ)

Lynn Chotowetz

It had been one year since I’d met Jaos and Luisa. That was July, 2008, and I found them sitting together in the dust outside of their straw home in Nhamatonda, Mozambique. They hadn’t eaten in at least two days, and had been hungry for months. That day was the first time I’d ever encountered such hunger. Their mother had died a year earlier. Their father couldn’t use the upper left side of his body due to an accident.

A local Hands at Work group of volunteers had “adopted” the family, meaning they would take responsibility for their care and wellbeing. This was good news. But the faces of those two children haunted me. A photo of them was lodged in my memory.

Why My Little One...

A poem written by June Vorster after the God revealed His broken heart for the plight of the orphan and the widow. She is a 70 year old living in South African who recently met George Snyman when he spoke at her church. She shared this poem with him and now we share it with you.

I see you sitting all alone and forlorn,
Why my little one?
Your clothes are all tattered and torn,
Why my little one?

I see the emptiness in your dark brown eyes,
The sores on your legs covered with flies,
I see your thoughts and feel your shame,
I cry when you cry, I feel your hunger, your pain.