by Sarah Shin
On Saturday, November 18th, about 100 people gathered at the Bedford Gallery in the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek, California, for an evening of music, art and food to raise money for the orphans that Hands at Work supports in Africa. Both friends and family attended to hear from Hands at Work co-founder George Snyman and to participate in this significant mission of caring for the millions of orphans and widows on a continent 10,000 miles away.
With that sort of distance and incomprehensible numbers, it’s incredibly easy to not be able to grasp the extent of suffering that happens every second in countries beyond the comforts of the United States. On top of that, as students and teenagers, I think every one of us in Hands at Work Youth was tempted at some point during the process of organizing this fundraiser to be sidetracked by our studies and other obligations. I recall that when I came back from my family's six-week trip to South Africa in 2011, I promised that I would remember the orphans every day — that I wouldn't take what God has blessed me with for granted. But six years later, my friends and I were struggling to make this fundraiser a reality. Our priorities were focused on our individual universes that orbited around shallow, temporary things that shouldn't have been guiding our lives.
Ultimately, the organization of this event not only pushed us outside the comfort zones of our carefully constructed schedules, but it also reminded us that our mission is not for earthly success or commendation, but for something that's beyond us — the furthering of God's kingdom. The orphans and widows whom Hands at Work reaches are absolutely precious to God and known by Him. And it's our mission and privilege to care for them, to bless them, and to pray for them just as Jesus has done for us. That's why Hands at Work Youth put on this fundraiser. And that's the message that we hoped to further in the Bay Area especially among young people.
Sarah is a member of Hands at Work Youth, which was formed in 2014. The group was created with the intention of getting local youth groups in the San Francisco Bay Area more involved in caring for the vulnerable in Africa.