2013

A Letter from George

Tuesday December 10, 2013

Family,

Looking back at 2013 for Hands at Work on the very day of Nelson Mandela’s funeral is very emotional and yet a rewarding experience for me as an African and a South African. Today I am so proud to belong to the global Hands at Work family fighting injustice by reaching out to the most vulnerable children in Africa.

I see some characteristics in Mandela’s life that we hold dear to in the Hands family. He had an amazing ability to cross cultural barriers. His whole life reflected sacrificial giving. Not only did he spend most of his adult life in prison, but once he was released he continued to live a sacrificial lifestyle. During his time as President of South Africa he gave his full salary every month towards those in poverty. After he completed his career as a politician he started the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. He never stopped living a life of giving! He believed in and encouraged others all the time that an individual can make a difference in this world. Each one should just do what he or she can do.

Care Workers together in a Maranatha Workshop in ZimbabweIn the beginning of 2013, Hands at Work leaders across Africa came together in Zambia. After a time of prayer and deep introspection, a renewed commitment was made to accept full responsibility for Hands and the vision we believe God gave us to live out. Part of our time together was living in one of the poorest communities with the children and grandmothers we care for. It was a time of deep impact and out of it we developed Maranatha Workshops. Maranatha means, “Come Lord”. These workshops are an invitation for Jesus to come and reveal His Father's heart to the Care Worker. In this time, Care Workers begin to recognise the wounds that are deep within themselves. That due to the wounds they carry, they have often wounded others out of that pain. Now the realisation is being awakened to the One true healer. The One who came to pour His life into their hearts and bring restoration to their lives. The workshops have clarified the different role players in the Hands model and how we can support and encourage each other to reach the children and their Care Workers in the best possible way. Our commitment is to do this workshop in every one of our communities before the end of June 2014. As we end 2013 we have already reached many communities in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The stories from the workshops are encouraging and we have discovered just how much pain and brokenness exists within the communities.

A highlight this year was to see how individuals and families not only visited us in Africa, but how they went home and mobilised their international communities to adopt the African communities they visited on the ground. We also saw short-term volunteers return home and then bring teams to Africa. They refused to just carry on living their lives as they had before coming to Africa. They became advocates among their circles of influence. I stayed in the homes of families all over the world where they would show me photos of our children in Africa and tell me those children’s names. They were praying for them every day!

In 2013 we had our first advocacy day in Chicago and friends of Hands came from all over the US to join us. A number of people with professional careers have cut back their working hours so they can volunteer their time to support Hands. Their skill and time will make such a difference in the countries where they live, and for us in Africa this is such an encouragement to see people accepting our vision with us and committing themselves to it.

Carolyn and George speaking to the Hands at Work family at the Hub in South AfricaAs I mentioned, this is the day of Mandela’s funeral. But this is also the day when Carolyn and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Early this morning, as we prayed together we had such a sense of overwhelming gratefulness. God is so good to us! He kept us together, He provided for our daily needs, He blessed us with children, grandchildren, and many amazing friends. He gave us a heart and dream to serve others. He showed us His heart! We raise an Ebenezer today declaring loud and clear that we serve a great and faithful God. Right from the start of our marriage, Carolyn and I agreed what our core values would be and we never negotiated away from them. We held to Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

We want to give that verse to everyone who is part of the Hands family and who believes in the dream of a better life for those we are serving. Hold to a dream bigger than yourself, commit to core values, and be held accountable. Today we stand as living testimonies that once you start to live for others and not yourself, you will always look back and say, “I received undeserving favor!”

George.

 

Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

In our work in Africa, we talk a lot about having conviction to serve the most vulnerable children. We see a crisis, and hope people all over the world will respond with an understanding of the urgency needed.

Nelson Mandela lived his life in response to an urgent need, to a crisis. His bold conviction challenged, and continues to challenge all of us to rid the world of suffering. Inequality and injustice were non-negotiable to him. They had to end, and he would not stop until they did.

His passing leaves this challenge to our generation. How will we rid the world of suffering? How far will we go to live out our convictions? Look what happened when he laid his life down for what he believed in. Look, and act.

We Wait

The season of Advent begins today. As we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ to us, we remember that we are called to visit others as Jesus visited us. At Hands at Work, the foundation of our care is holy home visits. Christa and Daytona, two of our international volunteers, explore how God has called us to wait on Him, serve the most vulnerable children, and keep our hearts focused on what the coming of Christ truly means.

Holy Home Visits

by Christa Roby

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In the formative years of Hands at Work, a group of people joined together with a heart to care for the many patients dying of HIV and AIDS. Through this time of visiting patients in their homes, another layer of need was discovered: the orphaned child. These children were wandering in the streets and hiding behind closed doors. They were the lost, the broken, and the abandoned. Having lost their families to HIV and AIDS, and with little to no support, they did not know where to turn or how to care for themselves. They had no voice and were slipping between the cracks. Hands at Work became attuned to the harsh reality these children were living in and knew they must act. If they did not step in to support these children, where would their hope lie? In response to the cry of their hearts, Hands at Work entered into a season of committed prayer. The result was a deep conviction by God saying the way forward was to build personal relationships through home visits, being very intentional to seek out the most vulnerable children in their communities, those who otherwise might not be found.

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Visiting an orphaned child in their home is to act on behalf of the absent parent. During that visit, the opportunity is given to a child to put aside the stresses of home, of responsibility, and just be a child. Home visits demand time, and can only be effective with the right desire of heart: the choice to go, and the willingness to get to know the child’s name and story. A home visit is beneficial, not just in understanding the external needs, but in spending time to engage with a child’s hurting heart, therefore bringing value and worth into their soul. Home visits may carry a high personal cost of time, emotion, and energy. But like the gospel, they bring transformation. We know we have been adopted into Christ's family and we want to see the same realisation in our children. We cannot create a culture of changing lives through brief service. Change does not come quickly; it comes with time and commitment.

Hands at Work is being reminded that the core of a home visit is in what Christ has done for us. He found us in our deepest time of need, visited us, invested in our lives, and renewed in us who we are. It is essential that during home visits, we wait. We wait for Christ to show up. We wait on His leading. We often wait even for the words to say. But we know that in our waiting, there is always something to come. We are expectant people.  

Waiting on the Messiah

by Daytona Swarbrick

We do not put life on pause to wait, but we continue to wait, as we have for years - thousands of them. We wait patiently sometimes, and with desperation at other times. We are waiting on God. As the Israelites waited in Egypt for God to show up, we wait today. As the prophet Isaiah awaited the time when the Messiah would arrive, so we wait each year.

And now we wait again, expectantly, during this advent season. We await the celebration of the nativity. Nativity is that incarnation - that coming - that we have been waiting patiently and desperately for, for so many years. Even as we are aware of the coming of the Messiah so long ago, we live in this tension of the now and that which is to come. There is an imminence that is felt and seen in the faithful practice of love. We see this evidence of the kingdom of God here and now, and yet we still wait for His presence in places where pain and poverty and death persist. Patiently and desperately, faithfully and hopefully we wait for God to show up. As we wait, life happens around us; with colour and vitality at times, but often just in the mundane.

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There are homes we enter that have mud and stick walls with sparse thatching on the roof, doing little to dissuade the torrential African rains. We sit with grandmothers who are struggling to find food for the children that have been left in their care. Sitting in those homes, doctrine and theology somehow lose their value. At that moment, when we sit amidst the pain, and see eyes of fear, and understand a little of what grieves the grandmother and what gives her life, we understand our dependence on the Messiah. We must wait. Together, humbly, we approach the throne and wait for God to "show up" for us.  How can we do anything less?  What could be better? To be in the presence of God together is what we long for. Do we not say, "OUR Father...Your name is Holy. Let your kingdom come here on Earth as it is in your perpetual presence"?

We wait for the advent of our Lord, this Emmanuel. We do this faithfully and hopefully. Each year, the church enters this season as a symbol to keep the focus of the Messiah close to our hearts. December 1st, 2013 begins that season again. May we all experience the coming of Emmanuel this season and in each moment when we dare to approach God together, and wait.

In Pictures

by Morgan Malster

“The poverty in Nigeria is like nothing I have ever seen. It’s dark, it makes you feel heavy. I have seen many things in my almost four years walking on African soil, but nothing that compared to this.”

Morgan Malster, a long-term international volunteer with Hands at Work in Africa, shares a series of photos that tell a story. A story of poverty and darkness but also of love, hope and life.  As she walked through Nigeria for the first time, breathing it in, she made a true and honest attempt to capture all that she saw on camera. 

GIVE this Christmas

This Christmas, Hands at Work has an opportunity for you to give to the most vulnerable children in Africa. Your gift will bless a child with access to education, basic health care, and one nutritious meal per day. A child like Chibesa…

Chibesa (middle, yellow shirt) waits in line for his daily nutritious mealChibesa is a six-year-old boy who lives in Chibote, one of the poorest communities in Zambia. Abandoned by his parents, Chibesa has been raised by his aunt, Peggy, who has struggled to provide for her household of 12. She could not send Chibesa to school, and most days he went to sleep without eating. Fortunately, Ruth began visiting Peggy and quickly realised how desperate her family was for even basic support. Ruth is one of many local volunteer Care Workers who are caring for the most vulnerable in their community. She arranged for Chibesa to receive a free daily meal, access to education and basic health care. In love and compassion, Ruth has taken Peggy and her family into her heart. And Peggy, wanting to be a blessing in return, has become a Care Worker!  She walks alongside Ruth ensuring many more children are able to survive, and know they are loved.

Chibesa is receiving love through Ruth and Peggy, and because of this, he has hope.  Through your giving, you can support Care Workers across Africa who desire to be able to provide for the children they care for physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Your generosity will not only bless others, but we believe you too will be blessed as you witness the transformation your support can make in the life of a child.

If you want to give and support the transformation of a child this Christmas, please learn more about the giving options for your country:

Australia | Canada | South Africa | UK | US | Other

You may want to give on behalf of someone else. Download & Print the Gift Cards and distribute to your friends and family. With four cards to choose from, these gift cards tell the stories of Chibesa and three other children who now have hope for life and life abundantly. Through your giving, people in your life can read and share these stories, becoming a voice for the voiceless as well. 

This season, may we all reflect on the birth of Jesus. He came down from heaven to be with us on earth as a human. And like so many children today, he was born into vulnerability. "And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn."-Luke 2:7

George in the UK

Hands at Work Founder and CEO, George Snyman, will be in the UK in November! We hope you can come out to one of the following events to hear him speak.  If you would like to know more about Hands at Work, volunteering on the ground in Africa, or God’s calling for His people to serve the poor, these events are an opportunity for you to learn more. 

Saturday November 9th

4:00 – 9:00pm

Great Wyrley, Staffordshire

St Andrew’s Church, Hilton Lane, Great Wyrley  Walsall WS6 6DS

George will be speaking to supporters and friends of Hands at Work and a team who visited Africa in 2013 will be sharing their stories. A shared meal will follow.  Please contact rose@uk.handsatwork.org for details.

www.link4lifeproject.blogspot.co.uk

Sunday November 10th

10:30am

Greenfinch Church

Gusford Primary School, Sheldrake Drive, Ipswich, IP2 9LQ

Phone Jan Bedford on 07977027999 for more details, or visit www.greenfinchchurch.org.uk 

4:00-6:00pm

Battisford Free Church

Straight Road, Battisford, Stowmarket, IP14 2LZ

www.battisfordfreechurch.com 

Tuesday November 12th

London

Wednesday November 13th

Birmingham

George Snyman, Founder and CEO, Hands at WorkThursday November 14th – 7:30pm

Swaziland Fundraiser - £10 per ticket, includes meal

Wade Street Church, Lichfield. WS13 6HL

An evening about the country of Swaziland: the need of the most vulnerable children and the opportunity for Hands at Work supporters in the UK to be a voice for the voiceless in this country. 

Contact 01543254110 for more details.

 

Friday November 15th

Bristol

Sunday November 17th

10:00am

Family Church (formerly Eternity Church)
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3UX 

www.eternitychurch.co.uk

Monday November 18th

London


We hope to see you at one of the events mentioned above! However, if you are unable to attend but would like to meet George, it may be possible to arrange a meeting that suits you better.  Please note his location on each day and contact Rose at rose@uk.handsatwork.org and Nick at nick@uk.handsatwork.org to potentially arrange another meeting.

 

Visiting Lilian


Devon in Canada

Devon van Hoffen arrived in South Africa as part of Hands at Work’s September volunteer intake.  From Canada, Devon has come to learn about Hands at Work, Africa, and God’s heart for the most vulnerable.  Volunteers have the opportunity to walk alongside local Care Workers in the poorest of the poor communities as they visit children who need love and parental care.  Here, he tells the story of one of his first home visits with a Care Worker in South Africa.

I recently did a home visit in a community in South Africa. I was greeted by an 11 year old girl with a big smile on her face. Her name was Lilian. I don’t know much of Lilian’s story but what little I do know is shocking.

Lilian is 11 years old and is HIV positive. When you are HIV positive you are more susceptible to disease, and because of her HIV she contracted tuberculosis. One of her kidneys has also failed, so she only has one left.

Lilian lives with her mother. Her mother is rarely home, so her aunt takes care of her. Her aunt told us that Lilian’s mother is given a government grant because she has a daughter. Her mother uses this grant to buy food for herself, and doesn’t care for Lilian. Lilian’s aunt can’t afford to buy medication for her, so she has no way of getting the help she needs.

Despite Lilian’s health, she is still attending school. I would guess that she is doing well in school because of how much she understood what was going on, and how well she could communicate with us. Her favourite class in school is English. She told us that when she grows up she wants to be a nurse, so she can help other people who are sick. That answer she gave was truly amazing, because it really shows how big of a heart she has.

Devon in Africa with a new friend (Note: child is not Lilian)Lilian’s aunt gave the Care Workers her medical report, and some papers that said how much her medication would cost. The Care Workers meet regularly, so at their next meeting they can present her report and potentially budget for Lilian’s medication. They will continue to visit Lilian on a weekly basis and pray with her and walk alongside Lilian in her struggle.

You can read more about Devon’s journey on his blog: http://devonvanhoffen.wordpress.com

Hands at Work invites people to come to Africa and see the work God is doing here on the ground.  You can learn more about the opportunities to come to Africa to serve, here: /come

God’s Fortune

Fortune (front, left) with his friends from Youth Program at the Care PointMncedisi Nkosi is more commonly known by his friends as Fortune. He is a teenager growing up in one of the poorest communities in South Africa. His story shows how a life can be transformed when people give what they can to the most vulnerable.  

I am Mncedisi Nkosi and I am 16 years old. I was born in a small South African community where I have lived my whole life. I have a sister, Siphokazi, 6, in grade 1, and a brother, Khanyiso, 13, in grade 8. I am in grade 11 and I especially enjoy mathematics. We stay with my grandma, Ester, who has been caring for us since our mother died. I’ve never known my father.

I remember the day my life was rocked.  It was November 23, 2006. I had left my mum at home that morning. She had been sick, but I felt comfortable leaving her as I thought she was recovering and getting stronger. The news I heard when I returned that day pierced my heart and the words “hospital” and “dead” echoed in my head. My body went numb. I wished I was dead too. The reality of losing my mother was too much for me to bear. I started withdrawing and having difficulties in school.

Thankfully, I already knew God during this time and felt He was always with me. He showed me love through the people He put in my life like my grandma and my Care Worker, Lillian. With time, I realised that my life was worth living to the full and joy and laughter returned.

People would describe me now as outgoing and social. I have been cared for by Senzokuhle Community Based Organisation for the past five years and have recently become a leader with the Youth Program there. I love singing and dancing and am actively involved with leading our worship times. I’m so glad I get to eat and spend time with my friends every day at the Care Point but it’s the visits from Lillian that have made the biggest difference to me. I feel cared for and know that my grandmother also feels supported in raising me and my siblings.

When I am not involved with school and the Youth Program, I am working on my own business: wedding planning and video making. I feel I have a great drive and someday wish to be a businessman in Canada, America, or England.  It’s hard to believe I once wanted to end my life and although my mother will never be replaced, I am thankful for the people God has placed in my life to encourage me and help me to dream!

We thank God for knowing Fortune by name and bringing hope into his life after experiencing tragedy as a child. We thank our Father for the Care Workers like Lillian who have given their love to Fortune, becoming like parents to him. We thank Him for those who have given financial support, generously, so this young man can access education, basic health care, and food security. Jesus says, “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38). If you would like to give to support a child such as Fortune, learn more here.

 

Given Freely

The vision of Hands at Work is to see the local Church in Africa effectively caring for the most vulnerable, and unified in this mission with the Church outside Africa. The second part is just as vital as the first. Outside of Africa, support comes from churches, volunteers, advocates, prayer warriors, businesses and more. When people give, and give sacrificially, to the most vulnerable children in Africa, there is transformation happening on both sides: the giver and the receiver. And when people understand that they are blessed to be a blessing, they give freely.

A Church Story

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Daphne with a Care Worker in Oshoek, South AfricaIn Australia, Daphne has been a friend of Hands for over 10 years. She has supported our work and been a voice for the children of Africa in her community, even when she was often the sole voice. But her endurance has been honoured by God. Daphne came to Africa to serve with Hands on the Short Team Service Team in July 2013. When she returned to her church in Perth, and having invited George Snyman to speak to her congregation, they began to support a community. Heart City Church is now supporting 25 children in Welverdiend, South Africa, with the hope to increase this number even further in the future. Heart City Church joins the Sunbury group, also from Australia, who support a further 75 children in Welverdiend at Pfunani Community Based Organisation. Heart City Church is now hoping to send their first team in September 2014 to experience Africa as Daphne has. We praise God for her dedication and His work in the hearts of so many people in Australia.

A Business Story

We are often inspired by how one person’s story of Africa can create a ripple effect. In the US, Lauren Lee, who works as part of the Hands US International Office, shared her passion for the children of Africa with her friend Bill. Bill works for Microsoft and this company has a program where they will potentially match funding for charities. Lauren encouraged Bill to apply to this matching program and his application was successful! Bill contributed 5,000 USD and Microsoft matched this funding, allowing 10,000 USD to be donated to Hands at Work, specifically to the Malawi Service Centre! This support is an amazing example of how we can each use our influence and voice to advocate for the most vulnerable children. 

An Advocate Story

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Jacob Erick with new friends in AfricaIn September 2010, Todd and Katie Wells served in the Democratic Republic of Congo for 7 months, living with Pastor Erick, our Hands at Work Congolese leader. As they returned to Canada, they knew their hearts would never be the same. When they gave birth to their son, they named him Jacob Erick, after the pastor whose life had inspired them. They also decided to raise funds for the community of Kitabataba in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where children were receiving home visits from Care Workers, but had no food security, access to education, or basic health care. In the beginning it was quite difficult. People who had not been to Africa did not understand the level of urgency. But in His mighty faithfulness, God gave Todd and Katie the strength to persevere, and they secured support for 50 children. In September 2013, Todd and Katie returned to the Congo and visited Kitabataba where they witnessed the transformation that has happened over the past couple of years. They could see the part that their support had played, but what impacted them more deeply was seeing the servant hearts of the Care Workers who had become like parents to the 50 children of Nyota Community Based Organisation. They could see Erick’s influence everywhere as the Care Workers displayed his same compassion and love. Also, Erick had the opportunity to meet baby Jacob in Zambia for the first time! Todd and Katie and their friends and family are now increasing the number of children they support to 75 children. This commitment requires sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice that is building God’s kingdom.

As the lives of the children we give to are changed, our own hearts experience a deeper understanding of how God has given everything to us. He gave us His son. “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

This Christmas, may we give thanks with a grateful heart.

Don't Wash it Off

by Rebekah Green 

On Saturday afternoon, having returned from South Africa that morning, I almost tweeted this:

"Just washed Africa off of my feet….it was ingrained hard." 

Fortunately my Twitter conscience stopped me pressing send… firstly because quite frankly it’s pretty gross to talk about my skanky feet, and secondly I had this philosophical sense I was actually saying something deeper. 

Truth is you can’t just wash Africa off your feet (metaphorically speaking). Or maybe you can, but you shouldn’t. 

I first went to South Africa in 2010 and although my time there was good, I didn’t fall in love with Africa. Over the last few years I’ve flirted with Africa a few times but still no love affair has been ignited. The last fortnight is quite possibly the closest it got though. 

That’s exactly why I shouldn’t wash Africa off. I need Africa and Africa needs me. Let’s get back to my skanky feet for a second. I hate wearing shoes in summer and I honestly think it’s quite biblical to don that natural bare foot way, but the result of that is you end up with hard, crusty, dirty feet. Attractive, eh?

When young Jewish boys were in rabbi training (I’m sure there’s a more correct term for that!) they would follow their rabbi, learning everything they could from him. In recent years there’s been a lot of church talk around ‘walking in the rabbi’s dust' based on an old rabbinic quote. Acts 22:3 references 'sitting at the feet of the rabbi’. The whole idea is that to truly become like someone you have to follow them closely, be influenced by them and remain close to them, so close that their dust covers you. 

And that’s why I need the dust of Africa on my feet. Africa and its people have a lot to offer and teach us. You want to know what poverty really is… go to Africa. You want to know what pain feels like… go to Africa. You want to see joy in the midst of sadness… go to Africa. You want an insight to God’s heart… go to Africa. You need the dust of Africa on you. It might not feel nice, it might get dirty, but you have to go.

When Mother Teresa was asked about her work in Calcutta on how it was going or what it was like, she would answer with these three words:

“Come and see”

As for me, I will look forward to my next bare foot date with the African continent, and in the meantime you’ll find me with my feet in the foot spa and pumice stone in hand.


Come to Africa with Hands at Work

Significant Moments

At Hands at Work we have many volunteers, from Africa and all over the world, who have had experiences in Africa that have changed their lives.  Most volunteers have a moment, or a series of moments that defined their understanding of God’s heart for the poor.  At Hands we encourage all volunteers to focus on relationships, and the real moments God blesses them with as they meet Care Workers and children across Africa.  Often these moments become a memory, but sometimes they are captured on camera.  Photos have a powerful way of evoking memories and the feelings experienced in the moment.  We asked our volunteers for one photo that is really significant to them and to describe why.  The most significant photos to us are not always necessarily the most professional or even most beautiful images.  They are the ones, however, that take us back to a moment that changed our lives.

Bernard Eßmann

Care Worker Mama Esther in Kambove, DRC
Bernard took it in 2011 when visiting her home
"Nothing to live for herself but so much to give for others"

Community Based Organisation Coordinator Rhoda in Racecourse, Zambia
Julia took it in 2012
"She does not need words to head the CBO"

Sheila Green

In the end, being strict with myself, I have today decided to select one from this past visit to KaPhunga.
It's one that reminds me of lots of things ~ the new centre can be seen in the background ~ there is wonderfully caring baba Vusi, who shows such love to every child and family he meets ~ including this little family that we met on our way back from visiting the 'field' that Nomsa (Community Based Organisation Coordinator) has been given by the community to grow maize for the children of Swaziland. It shows me how Hands at Work has assisted Nomsa to encourage a community in her country to care for the widows and orphans, and bringing us all together from all around the world, walking side by side to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus.

Marj Miller

Annie - Mcheneke, Malawi
Photo taken by Marj Miller, November, 2012

Annie is a disabled teenaged girl who lives with incredible challenges. Orphaned, neglected and rejected, her incredible smile encourages me to hang on to hope in hopeless situations and trust God for breakthroughs.

Christa Roby

The reason I love this photo: it represents the unity of working together and the main source of the day; food! A lifeline to unite the culture.
I took this photo in Bushbuck Ridge, South Africa (Belfast Community)

Sara Waldvogel

Photographer: Morgan Malster 
Location: Amlew (Kitwe, Zambia)
Subject: Memory and Kelvin
Description:  The first time I visited Memory and Kelvin and their siblings in their home was the first time I felt strongly that there was no hope for one of our children.  I saw the Care Workers pour love out on them and that was when I realized that the love of the Care Workers is what brings hope.  I have this picture up in my room and it reminds me to pray for them by name.

Catherine Clarkson

Name: Catherine Clarkson
Photographer: Alicia Ralph
Subject: Dayo
Location: Elekuru village, Nigeria
Description: After riding motorbikes through the jungle to a remote village, we came across children who had not yet been ‘found’ and brought under the care of the Community Based Organisation. Dayo was one of the most broken and traumatised children I have ever met, having been abandoned by his mother as a new-born. He now attends school with his older brother, eats at the Care Point each day and receives regular and loving home visits from the Elekuru Care Workers.

Melissa Warren

Photographer: Melissa Warren
Location: Mngwere Community, Malawi
Subject: Henry the Care Worker with Mandris (child)
Your short description: We visited Madris in his home.  When asked where he slept we were directed to a kitchen hut no more than 1.5m in diameter – half filled with cooking equipment, the other half he would share to sleep in with his older brother.  It was heart wrenching to see the squalid and unsafe conditions he slept in every night.  The only reason I could walk away from this situation was knowing Madris has a Care Worker Henry, who visits Mandris almost every day, and cares for Mandris as if he was his own son. For me, this photo captures the beautiful relationship between Care Worker and child that is so foundational to who we are as Hands at Work.

Adam Bedford

Location: Mcheneke community, Malawi

Description: This 15 year old girl is named Annie. She has no family
apart from a granny who doesn't care for her and a physically abusive
alcoholic brother. People often come to her home to tell her she is
cursed, and this makes Annie suicidal. She has no food at all, so she
spends every day under a mango tree eating whatever falls. This photo
is meaningful to me because when I met her she had constant pain on
her face. I took this picture when I said something funny and for a
passing moment a smile broke across her face.

Philip McLaughlin

This photo was sent to us by Fortunate and is taken at Siyathathuka Community Based Organisation in Clau Clau, South Africa.
It is of 5 families who take home fresh spinach from the garden Fortunate made.
The Care Workers and children there now have a large garden and I believe more children are taking home fresh vegetables which will help their health.
The reason that it means so much is that while our team were there we were able to replace the pump in the borehole so that they have water to enable their garden to grow.
It has just shown me the difference that water can make to a community in so many ways.
Our God is so good and provides - it was great to see them recognize this and to be so thankful to God for it.

Dave Rowe


This picture brings me hope. Tanazio is teaching children in the morning at the Care Point in Maonde community, Malawi.  It brings hope for the future, hope for these children, and to me represents how the Care Workers serve vulnerable children across our communities.

Ashley Humphreys

Location: Home, Mandlesive, Clau Clau, South Africa  

Subject: Senty (name changed), 4
 
I stayed with Senty and her family just weeks after coming to Africa for the first time.  Her mother is 19 and was taking care of their household because her own parents have passed away.  Their family is one of the poorest and most vulnerable in South Africa.  But meeting Senty made me realise that a child in the most dire situation in Africa is not that different from a child in Canada. Their souls are the same.  Senty is creative, bright, spunky, naughty, loud, beautiful, and has the biggest imagination.  When I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up, she said a frog.  I feel every bit of her spirit when I see this photo and it’s second best to being with her in person.

From My Living Room to Nigeria

By Stephen Jo

Stephen was a part of a short term missions team that visited the Hands at Work Hub in South Africa back in 2007.  He was greatly challenged by what he saw and the work that Hands is doing and has been a supporter ever since. Here he reflects on his recent trip to Nigeria where he was able to visit the children he and his friends and family have been supporting for years.  

It all began in the living room of my house in Southern California back in 2009. I invited George Snyman, Founder and CEO of Hands at Work in Africa, to come and speak to a gathering of my friends.  That evening, God stirred the hearts of all who were there, although many of them had never visited Africa before.  As a result of that meeting, we decided as a group of eight families to support 100 orphans in the Badia and Ilaje villages of Nigeria.  We started this support in January 2010 and have been doing so ever since. June 2013, after several years of supporting the orphans in Nigeria, four men from the group finally got a chance to visit the villages in Nigeria.  It was a life changing trip that none of us will soon forget. 

The streets of BadiaGeorge met us in Nigeria to lead our team.  On our first day, he led us on a walk through Badia, a large urban slum just outside the capitol city of Lagos.  The four of us had seen numerous examples of poverty across several continents prior to this trip but the level of poverty in Badia was by far the worst. The community was composed of densely arranged plywood shacks with trash littered everywhere.  There was a stench in the air from pools of stagnant water and a lack of sanitation.  Thousands of people populated this slum with 80% of the women being prostitutes and 60%-70% of the children being orphans

It was difficult walking through Badia because of the extreme poverty and the fact that there was a spiritual darkness hanging over this place.  However, about a half hour into this uncomfortable walk, something unexpected happened.  I saw a girl in a bright red shirt standing about 30 yards ahead of us.  It was her bright shirt that caught my attention.  She was looking at us and saw Peter, who is the local leader for Hands in Nigeria, standing next to me.  Her face lit up with a smile when she saw him and she came running toward him.  She jumped into his arms and gave him a warm hug then quickly ran off to play again.  I asked Peter who she was and he said, “It’s one of your children.”  That moment was like seeing a ray of light in the darkness.  It taught me the impact that Hands was having on this community in just the short time we had been there. "It's one of your children"

The following day we visited the Care Point in Badia where I had a chance to meet the girl in the red shirt.  She turned out to be an adorable 9-year-old girl named Rachel.  She is an orphan who lives in Badia with her aunt and sister.  Unfortunately, her aunt is a prostitute who works out of their one room shack.  This means that Rachel and her sister are woken up and asked to wait outside when patrons visit their home at any hour during the night.  It’s heartbreaking to know that there are children who have no choice but to live in this way, but Rachel’s story reflects the life of many Badia children who live in this same manner.  Fortunately, there is real hope that Rachel’s story will change some day. She is enrolled in a school through our sponsorship and the Hands Care Workers are raising her in the gospel. For these reasons, I am very hopeful that the cycle of prostitution will someday end with her.

Stephen and his team with Peter and another local volunteerIt was a blessed experience to witness how God was using our modest support to change the lives of the orphans in Nigeria.  We saw how Hands was bringing hope to places like Badia where none would be expected and children without any choices had hope for a better future.  Most remarkably, our partnership with Hands gave 4 Americans an opportunity to be in a gospel community with 100 African children an ocean away.  None of this would be possible without the loving God who not only cares for the orphan and widow but also graciously allows us to partake in the work of caring for them too.

George in the US

George Snyman, Founder and CEO of Hands at Work in Africa will be visiting many churches and advocate groups in the U.S. from October 4th through the 20th. Here is a breakdown of his schedule. If you are in the area, we would love for you to come out and connect with George. If you would like more detailed information, please contact Lauren at lauren@us.handsatwork.org

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

October 5: Artist Showcase at Christ Church http://www.handsatworkbenefit.com/

October 6: Sunset Church http://sunsetchurchsf.org/

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

October 7

MINNEAPOLIS

October 8 – 11

October 10: St. Leonard's Church http://www.stleonardmn.org/

CHICAGO REGION

October 11- 17

October 12: Event for Hands at Work U.S. Advocates

October 13: Grace Church http://graceinracine.com/

NEW YORK CITY

October 17 - 20

Discovering a new reality of hope

A group of individuals in Australia, led by the compassionate McLaughlin family, seek to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children in South Africa, and to the Care Workers who serve so sacrificially each day to build for a positive future for their community. By partnering with communities like Welverdiend, in Bushbuck Ridge, this group has seen transformation taking place in many lives. Here is just one story:

In 2009, 6 young children were devastated by the loss of their parents. The eldest girl, Busie, 15, took responsibility for their mentally challenged and mute brother, Robert, and an uncle offered to take in the four youngest siblings: Segney, Gertrude, Ronald, and Karimo. It wasn’t long before the children realized they were not going to experience the care and provision they had anticipated from their uncle. Their uncle began stealing the small government orphan grant being given to the four orphaned children. On many nights, the children went to bed without food and often went to school without adequate clothes.  One by one, the children fled from their uncle to their old home. 

In 2011, Busie became pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl.  With no one to help Busie raise her daughter and siblings, and with repeated years of failing at school, Busie dropped out in Grade 8.  Motivation to continue attending dwindled and the hope for a brighter future became bleak. Housework and providing meals for the family became overwhelming.  The growing instability in this family’s life started to affect the other children’s school work and their teachers became concerned. Aware that the family was in need of support, the teachers asked Care Workers at Pfunani Community Based Organisation to help. 

Ester, a Pfunani Care Worker began to visit the family and look for ways to support them.  She helped the children to apply for a social grant which they are now receiving.  Each morning, Care Workers visit the family home on their way to the Care Point to ensure porridge is cooked for Robert.  During other home visits, Ester helps to ensure the house is clean, laundry is washed, and meals are cooked.  Although Busie still struggles with feelings of depression, the family are discovering a new reality of hope.  Not only are they fed physically, with a nutritious meal each day at the Care Point, but also spiritually and emotionally.  They enjoy interacting with other children at the Care Point and attend weekly lessons led by their older peers, where issues such as self-esteem, healthy relationships, and sexual education are discussed.

Ester desires to continue helping Busie and her family to experience brighter days, to understand that they are loved and embraced as family.

The McLaughlin family and friends desired to make their partnership with Pfunani Community Based Organisation personal. They wanted it to go beyond just the sending of funds. This group are getting to know the Care Workers and children by name, and they look for creative and meaningful ways to impact their lives and the community. In 2013, they formed a team and travelled to South Africa to spend time with the people they had grown to love. During their time in the community, they worked to make the Pfunani Care Point a safe, secure and fun place for the children and Care Workers to meet.

Children like Busie and her siblings, who have battled with so much loss and rejection, now find a place of acceptance and value. The McLaughlin family and friends work closely with Hands at Work to make a positive impact in the lives of these vulnerable children. And through it, they have discovered a new reality of hope for the children and Care Workers they know by name.  

Have you considered sending a team to visit Hands at Work, or joining other individuals who desire to bring hope to the most vulnerable? Find out how you could get involved with Hands at Work by sending a group of passionate people to serve on a short-term team. No skills are required, just a commitment to serve and a desire to care.

To find out more, contact your local Hands at Work office:

Australia: info@au.handsatwork.org

Canada:  info@ca.handsatwork.org

UK: info@uk.handsatwork.org

US: info@us.handsatwork.org

For other countries please contact partnerships@handsatwork.org

Because I understand that love is not expressed in words but in deeds



 

 

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Today I want to do something dangerous. I want to try to define short-term missions, or teams coming to visit Hands.  Why are we doing it? What does it actually mean?  Maybe I should just say what it does not mean.  It's not a missional experience that we are trying to create, or a sort of short-term outreach that is good for a team to go on as an experience and say "I can tick the box of being in Africa". Rather it's a sacrificial, well planned commitment in friendship through servanthood.  It is ongoing, bringing healing and maturity and encouragement to both those going and those receiving.  Those going are saying, “Because I understand that love is not expressed in words but in deeds.”  Those receiving are saying "I am blessed because I am not forgotten. I'm known by name and I have hope. Many people are coming here to help me, encourage me, and they receive healing themselves."

Initially when we come to Africa it is difficult for us to understand that “me” and “my time” are actually the best gift I could give Africa.  Me, as a person, and my time. It's so hard for us to believe this is really the best we can give when meeting all the amazing people in Africa and experience the pain and suffering in the villages where we work. 

I was recently told a story about one of our Care Workers in one of the communities where we work.  I was told how the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 came alive to her.  The words, "I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. Whenever you give even a cup of water to one of these little ones …" It revolutionized her whole life and the way she cared.  She confessed that now when she gets up in the morning she gets up and she looks for opportunities to have an impact.  She looks for opportunities to reach out,  even if it is only a cup of water to one of the most vulnerable children.  It went further.  One night, late, there was somebody knocking at the door.  Initially she thought she could never open it up and put herself at risk.  Again the scripture came to her.  What if it is somebody that you could help, somebody that is in need?  She opened the door and it was a vulnerable and orphaned girl from one of our communities who was kicked out of the house where she stayed.  She had nowhere to go that night. This young lady who had this wonderful revelation of the word of God, took her into her house and she kept her there. In the morning she went to the hut where this young girl was staying.  She dealt with the dispute that there was and why she wasn't welcome there anymore. She said it changed everything between her and this girl. This girl now trusted her at such a deep level. There was such a strong bond between the two of them that it gave her a beautiful opportunity to become deeply involved in her life.

Yes.  These are stories that we hear at Hands at Work very often.  It's beautiful. Of course we all know these stories are contagious.  We've seen through the years that relationships are the core ingredients that change everything.  We see people coming together from different cultures, different educational backgrounds, different thinking.  And as they knit their hearts together in the dusty roads in Africa, and they meet the children, there's something beautiful and lasting in both their lives.

A part of the Hands Vision has always been that we want to serve the body of Christ. We believe in the body. We believe in the church. We especially believe in the young people coming to Africa and sending them back to take their rightful place as upcoming leaders in their communities and churches.  The volunteers who have been with us from years ago, and a bit more recently, I have met on my journeys when I go to their countries and speak. Some of them come back to Hands and they share their lives with us.  Their voices become tender and soft when they start sharing how grateful they are.  They don't take things for granted anymore. They came to understand and ask “What is the difference between me and the people in Africa?”  That's a humbling experience. It's also liberating. It sets you free and gives you a purpose to live a life that's continually blessing people around you, not just in Africa, but even in their own community. You are compelled to get involved in the lives of broken people around you.

I was recently in Australia with one of our church partners who has been with us for more than 10 years.  The fire is still burning so high in that church. I asked the pastor, “How do you do this? How do you keep the flame alive? You are so compassionate about Africa. Every year teams are coming. Your involvement is amazing. Young people come to serve. It's incredible and it doesn't slow down its actually growing.” The pastor looked at me at that moment and very clearly said to me, "George, we are not good for Africa. Africa is good for us.  Africa's impact in our church is so big.  All of us know that it has played a huge defining role in helping us grow to maturity - to go and see and to go and learn - going to meet people by name.  When they come back it brings purpose, it brings maturity, and it brings life."

Missions don’t exist because there's a church. Churches exist because there are missions and because all of us live to worship our Father and to make His name known. What an incredible privilege to do that in the place where the pain and brokenness and the suffering is at its worst. Surely, surely that is getting very close to our Father.

Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me

Hands at Work’s vision is to see the local Church in Africa effectively caring for the dying, orphaned and widowed, and unified in this mission with the Church outside Africa.

Greenfinch Church in Ipswich, UK has been partnering with Hands at Work for four years. Chris Bedford, the pastor of Greenfinch, shares his story about a special young boy who broke his heart and transformed his life – and that of his church.

“I guess there are just a few moments in life when something strikes you so hard that you feel totally powerless and useless. 

Back in 2011, on our sA sullen three year old Chatty during Chris' 2011 visit. econd day of home visits in the community of Chilabula, the harsh realities of everyday Zambian life hit me like a runaway freight train.

Several homes had been visited the previous day and already it was clearly noticeable was that there was a distinct lack of young men everywhere we went. All the families visited were led by women and the 20 to 45 year old men were simply missing. There was talk about how many had been lost to illness (no-one ever mentioned “HIV”).  It had the potential to be overwhelmingly sad and yet somehow, it didn’t hit home too hard. 

But then it happened. Having walked quite some way through the bush, we arrived at a clearing where a typical African house was located - straw roof, mud walls, surrounded by a sandy, barren area. On the ground lay an older man, unkempt and distinct, wearing a huge thick coat despite us sweltering in the 33 degree heat. He sat up but wasn’t for talking much. This old grandfather had been left to bring up four children, despite his struggle to even look after himself.  His two youngest children; Chatty, 3, and Cosmas, 6, where adopted by the Chilabula Community Based Organisation. The children were not at home, so their Care Worker set off to find them.  Soon, the two boys came out of the bushes into the clearing.  That same morning we had played with kids who looked just the same as these children - no shoes, ragged clothes, but who played with great joy and gusto and huge smiles.  However, these two were different - shoulders slumped under deadpan faces. They sat down and we tried to engage them in a game. Eventually, there was the merest flicker of a smile from Cosmas - no more than a flicker - and yet enough to stir hope in me for him.  Chatty, however, was a different story. His face never changed. It was sullen, fearful and confused. I feared that there was nothing that would make him smile.

Then the harsh truth emerged. His mother had died just three months previously, leaving him with his three older siblings and a grandfather.  How does a child so young even begin to comprehend where his mother is, or who will take care of him, or where his next meal is coming from? Perhaps even worse than this, where does he get hugs from and who kisses him goodnight?

This one child, Chatty, broke my heart.

Can we stand by and simply watch this happen? As Matt Redman wrote “there must be more than this”.

Mark 9:37 (Jesus speaking): “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me – God who sent me.” (The Message)

I walked away from that situation and for over two years, this little child haunted my thoughts. Why didn’t I embrace the boy? Why didn’t I just grab him and hug him? Has my own culture knocked out of me the sense to love a lonely child? Why didn’t I try harder with him? What made me sit around and simply watch?

Now in 2013, we went back to the rural village of Chilabula. We arrived at a house that I did not immediately recognize, but Burton, a local Care Worker told me that it was Chatty’s house. I was immediately both excited, and apprehensive.  This time, however, I was determined not to miss the opportunity to move beyond just seeing him. I would embrace him.

We walked up to the house and I spotted Chatty, sat on the floor with his twenty year old big sister, who is also looking after her own child. This time, Chatty seemed more comfortable to visit with us.

Chatty still looks a little serious, even sullen, but things are definitely different now. Just like many other Zambian boys, he was happy to play with us and showed us his plastic bag ball, neatly banded together.  Burton spoke to Chatty and asked him “Do you remember this man” at which he nodded his head in affirmation. I was blown away that he could remember me. But why should he? We did nothing out of the ordinary to help last time, and yet he remembered.

I tried to do what Dads do and I put my arm around him and tried to make him smile.  It worked, and suddenly everything made a little more sense and felt worthwhile. Of course, this child was depressed and confused two years previously when his mother had so recently passed away, but today, we could see change in his life. The love, support and care that Burton and the local Care Workers have shown Chatty, along with the support of his older sister have transformed this little boy.  Chatty still has a long way to go in his life and it takes a bit of time to see a smile, but the life in him is slowly emerging.

This year, Chatty bro"I tried to do what Dads do and I put my arm around him and tried to make him smile".ke my heart once again, but not in a hopeless, despairing way. He makes me cry, not because I do not know what to do but because I see hope in the eyes of this child and because I see love being poured into his life. I see that I can be part of making a difference for one boy, living 5000 miles away on the other side of the world.”

Chris and his church consider the community of Chilabula as part of their family, congregation and ministry. Every week, they pray for the community and the children they know by name and they look forward to the next opportunity to visit them. 

To find out how you and your church can be a part of reaching vulnerable children across Africa, contact your local Hands at Work office. 

Australia: info@au.handsatwork.org

Canada:  info@ca.handsatwork.org

UK: info@uk.handsatwork.org

US: info@us.handsatwork.org

For other countries please contact partnerships@handsatwork.org

Care Workers Responding in Love

 

Abandoned by his father, four-year-old Tawanda was left to stay in a small shack in Sakubva with his mother, Shorai, and his two brothers. In February 2013, Tawanda’s father returned to the household and, in a terrifying act, set fire to it. What little food, clothing and blankets the family owned were completely destroyed. The family was left with nothing, save the clothes they were wearing.  A neighbour in their community allowed the desperate family to stay in her small, oneroomed home until they found another place to stay. There was already a family living here, but it was all Tawanda, his mother and brothers had. They currently all sleep on the same bed.  Tawanda and his family face huge challenges.

They cannot afford food, clothes or school fees.  In order for them to just survive, Shorai has to cut down and sell firewood – back-breaking work for just a few dollars.

Tawanda and his brothers were found by the Care Workers from Sakubva Christian Caring Trust in 2012. The Care Workers heard their story and wanted to respond in love. They brought the children to the Care Point in the hope that they could bring some life and light into their lives.  The children are now attending the Sakubva Care Point each day for a nutritious meal and to connect with the Care Workers and play with other children. The Care Point in Sakubva is a hub of activity at the moment: a Care Centre is under construction, enabling the Care Workers to provide holistic care to their vulnerable children. It is a noisy, welcoming and a nurturing environment for children like Tawanda to attend.

Angeline, one of Sakubva’s Care Workers has been running education classes for Tawanda, his older brother and other children who do not currently attend school. She does this in preparation for the children to eventually attend formal school. At present, Tawanda is learning how to count to 20 and to write his name.  Christine, another Care Worker visits Tawanda and his family twice each week. She assists them with any work that needs to be done in their house but also listens and prays with them. Christine has brought hope to the whole family by her very presence.

When Sakubva Community Based Organisation recently received a donation of clothes and blankets, Tawanda and his brothers received clothing and a blanket each. It has been a huge blessing to the family. After receiving these items, Shorai told the Care Workers that she has seen God working so clearly in her life –in His provision for her and her children, and through the love and care of the Sakubva Care Workers.

 

 

 

 

The Many Faces of War

Since the first invasion into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), almost 2 decades ago, more than 5 million people have died in the deadliest conflict the world has seen since the Second World War. It’s an incomprehensible truth when one stops to consider the scale. Each one known to somebody. Each with a face and a name.  Each with a story to tell of a life lived or yet to be lived. The Congo is a beautifully vast and mineral-rich landscape in central Africa but it also bears the scars of wars that have raged for many years and are continuing to terrorise its people. Half of Congo’s inhabitants are under 14 and have only ever known war.

Furaha, as featured in storyFuraha was born in Goma, in Eastern Congo. At just 4 years old, Furaha’s entire existence has been characterised by instability. She is a refugee in her own country, running constantly from the threat of rebel invasion and oppression. The war killed her father. Furaha and her mother desperately sought shelter with other war widows and their children, but food was scare and access to even basic medical supplies was impossible. Desperation is written all over Furaha’s face and yet, Furaha could not be picked out of a crowd. There are millions of children just like her.

In Goma, tens of thousands of people are displaced and find themselves in over-run and unsafe refugee camps which offer little protection or provision for the traumatised and vulnerable. People are too scared to return to their destroyed villages and too damaged by the brutality and oppression they have suffered at the hands of rebels. Women, left traumatised by abuse and rape, bear deep emotional scars, and carry, too, the resultant children. Used as a cruel and barbaric instrument of war, rape will give birth to a new generation of children who will be born into brokenness and chaos.

In one of the refugee camps lives our own ‘Mother Theresa’. A lady whose compassion for the orphaned singled her out in her own village. In Luhonga , a village on the outskirts of Goma, she fought for the children the world does not know. The ones who have only ever known fear. She was there when these children gathered in a hut, all desperate and all terrorised, for their first ever plate of nutritious food. Women like this are named by Hands at Work as ‘Mother Theresa’ because their desire to bring hope and life stands in contradiction to their environment, to their own stories of brutal abuse and to the threat that constantly surrounds them. They are light and life to the most vulnerable. And yet, our Mother Theresa from Luhonga is not in her village caring for the children she has been called to serve. She is too afraid. She remains in the refugee camp and is terrified of returning to her home for fear of another invasion.

Refugee camp outside of GomaAnd yet, the world is unaware. A raging conflict, on a world-war scale, rages in the Congo. And the faces of those most affected are unknown to the world: The children kidnapped to become child soldiers, joining a military regime that killed their own parents, and thousands of women who fled their own homes after they were raped and abused, many of whom had witnessed their own husbands, sons and neighbours being slaughtered.

Hands at Work are 100% committed to reaching the poorest and most vulnerable people in Africa today. And these people include little girls like Furaha and our ‘Mother Theresa’s’ in the DRC. We will stand up for them and make their stories known. We will know their names. We will know their faces. And we will fight for them.

Will you join us?

In Goma, we are working in 2 villages, Luhonga and Buhimba, where poverty and the number of orphans is extremely high, and support services and levels of safety and protection is very low. The threat of rebel invasion and displacement is constant.

But you can join us by doing something amazing with your VOICE, your RESOURCES and your TIME to serve the most vulnerable people in the DRC and across Africa. 

PRAY for children like Furaha and for peace to prevail across the DRC.

SPEAK UP for the men and women who are trying to care for the most vulnerable in their communities and tell others about what is happening in Goma.

To learn more about what it means to ‘speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves’ in countries across Africa, visit our Advocate page.

SUPPORT Hands at Work financially to ensure we can continue to travel into the DRC and to support the work in the poorest villages with the most vulnerable children.

To give towards our work in the DRC or to find out more, contact Hands at Work in Africa: info@handsatwork.org

First day of Care Point feeding in Luhonga village, Goma

daily good

Every so often we see something that inspires us and lets us know that someone else has felt the very thing that we ourselves have felt in the core of our being. In this case, we were blessed by one of our own.  Alicia Krawchuk was a volunteer with Hands though 2013 and we are incredibly blessed by her being with us and by her creative mind which resulted in this video: daily good.

daily good from Hands at Work in Africa on Vimeo.

 

 

People make the world good or bad.  Bad things happen to good people daily, but still some people remain good despite all the bad they have endured.  I stayed with this family.  They were loving, kind, generous and welcoming to me daily.  Abandoned by their father - mother and grandmother died of aids - they survive on so little, but still they gave me so much.

Women in this community stand together to feed 50 vulnerable children daily.  These women have so little and still, they give so much daily.  Now there is hope for these children.  Now there is hope for these children because good people are doing good.

In this area it is more likely a girl will be raped than learn how to read.  This is the cycle o poverty and aids in Africa.  fragmented  families  > complex situations > fragmented families …

If the good people in these communities stand together, maybe they can break this cycle.  Good people caring for each other daily will help these children to climb out of poverty.

I've met so many good people - heard so many stories - that make me want to fight for good!  for God!