28-year-old Margret grew up coming to the Care Point in Welverdiend Community, South Africa, along with her sister. Today, Margret is no longer a child attending the Care Point but is the mother to two young boys who do. She has a heart to care for children and has created a welcoming space at her home, where children can come and play games, sing and dance together. Through a home visit, she was encouraged to consider becoming a Care Worker and invest into the lives of the community, just as she too was invested into.
18-year-old Lebo* has been attending the Care Point in Welverdiend since she was 10 years old. When her parents passed away, Lebu was left with the responsibility of raising her three siblings. Currently, she is in grade 12 at school. Lebo is a Christian and is committed to faithfully attending church every Sunday.
Lebo is one of the youth leaders at the Care Point, and takes on the responsibility of gathering all 150 children together to pray, sing and read scripture before they eat. When it is time to eat, she helps to serve the children, even going as far as carrying the younger children’s food to where they will sit. She is a bright light in the community of Welverdiend and is such a positive example for the other youth and younger children. She leads the youth group that takes place weekly at the Care Point and actively supports many of the children in their faith and walk with Christ.
The Care Workers from the Pfunani Community Based Organisation first became aware of Ntsumi* when she was just a baby. Noticing that her mother was not around and that she lived with her grandmother, they drew nearer to the family and began to visit regularly. Listening with tenderness and deep Christ-led compassion, they heard that Ntsumi’s mother, broken by Ntsumi’s father’s lack of interest in her baby, had felt unable to look after her child. Community-minded, warm-hearted and caring, Ntsumi’s grandmother does her best to provide a supportive home. She knows that a stable environment for children means that they will have the chance of growing into strong, anchored adults and has also taken into her care another little girl, Puleng*. But she is realistic: she knows that both Puleng and Ntsumi need a mother-like figure in their lives. Too old to work, she is dependent on a small government grant and struggles to meet the children’s most basic needs.
Today, Ntsumi receives a hot, nutritious meal daily and support for her education together with basic healthcare. Being enfolded into the heart of so many loving adults has meant that Ntsumi can cope better with the pain of her mother’s rejection. The Care Workers, led by their love of Jesus, strive to understand the needs of each child in their care and, having been taken under their wing, Ntsumi, Puleng and the grandmother can confide in the Care Workers, knowing that they can explain their difficulties and receive deep understanding and help from willing hearts.
“As a local church, we must do something – not just by talking but by action. If the church doesn’t play its role, these children are going to disappear and lose their hope and confidence." – Pastor Paul, Welverdiend, South Africa.
“As we helped paint the Care Point in Welverdiend Community, South Africa, the excitement of the Care Workers inspired our team. You couldn’t wipe the joy and pride off the children’s faces as they added their touch of colour.”
"My thoughts about Africa have completely changed. I was fearful of going at first because all I ever heard about Africa was the pain, suffering, violence and oppression. Since visiting, I have seen a different Africa. I have seen the colour, the joy in those who have very little, the African dance, the African countryside and a care model that is working.”
Eddie Skinner, Heart City Church Team (Australia) shares about his time visiting Hands at Work and the community of Welverdiend in South Africa.
“This photo is of Josefa* from Pfunani Community. We were doing an appreciation day for the Care Workers and because there was an additional workbook left over, I gave it to Josefa and asked him to write his name on the heart. The booklet was based on Ephesians 3:18 and when I explained that it said ‘God loves Josefa,’ he gave me a huge, beautiful smile.”
Audrey Sibiya (African Volunteer, #SouthAfrica) shares about what church mobilisation looks like at the Pfunani Community Based Organisation (CBO) in Welverdiend, South Africa:
"There are two pastors who are actively involved at the Pfunani Life Centre: Pastor Richard Masuku and Pastor Paul. Pastor Richard serves as one of our board members at the Pfunani CBO in Welverdiend. We have a strong relationship with these pastors and they are willing to support us whenever we need them." Please #pray for more pastors like Pastor Richard and Pastor Paul in each of our communities across Africa to stand up and recognise their biblical mandate to care for the most vulnerable. #ChristAsOurFoundation#LocalChurch
Pastor Paul is from Welverdiend Community in South Africa and is with the ‘International Christian Centre Church’. He shares: "As a church, we are doing our part to show love to children and those that have been orphaned. We are playing an important role in looking after them and helping them. Some of them don’t have parents and they don’t have that love that children are supposed to get from their parents. I have opened my hands. Every Sunday, I say to people that if they know anyone that is sick, I’m available. Please let me. I’ll go. I’ll visit and pray for them. We are in one community. If we just fold our hands, who is going to take the responsibility? As a church, we must do something - not just by talking, but by action. These kids from the Life Centre are our future generation. If the church doesn’t play it’s role, these kids are going to disappear, and lose their hope and confidence."