We would like to invite you to hear more about our recent Hands at Work trip to South Africa on Thursday 24th October at 7.30pm at the Methodist Church in Capel. If you have followed the blog come and hear more stories and see more photos as well as a taster of some authentic food (but not the chicken feet!!). All welcome. For more details contact Maggie at Maggie3@btinternet.com
Monday, 14 October 2019
So to our last full day with Hands at Work. Once a month, on a Friday, the whole team climb into cars and go out to one of their Communities for a time of prayer and worship before doing some home visits. Today we all went to This seemed to be a well organised Care Point. They had a sizeable room where we gathered and the singing (and dancing) began. Although we couldn’t understand the meaning of most of the words the sense of praise and worship was amazing and you couldn’t help but get caught up in it. Sunday mornings back in Capel are going to seem very tame after that. The message, given by a member of the team, was based on the Samaritan woman at the well. There was then a time of prayer and an opportunity for people to be prayed for.
At the end we decided not to go on the home visits but to return to White River as our last chance for shopping. So we had to say goodbye to Melody, Prudence and Vusie and Bedwin, Care Workers who had been our guides out in the communities - amazing people. After having ‘tea’ in a coffee shop we returned to the Hub for a final debriefing where we had a chance to ask questions and also talk about how we had been affected by our 2 weeks with Hands at Work. I think we all agreed that this had been a life-changing experience for us all in lots of ways.
Monday, 23 September 2019
We are relieved that the weather has cooled overnight, only 28c today.
It’s our last visit to the centre at Zwelisha to meet the Care Workers and give them a pampering session to show our appreciation for having us.
After playing with the children and helping to prepare lunch, chicken feet stew; we had a time of sharing and praying for the workers.
While the ladies painted nails and made Scratch Art crosses the men went off to do some practical work.
So Iain,Wes and Chris went to a local house to do some cleaning, we thought it my be some walls and floors!!. What we found was a rat invested kitchen with cockroaches 😔. If I say two of us felt ill afterwards, that gives you an idea of the smell. We had our bucket,rubber gloves and scrubbing brushes and set to work, we had rat droppings falling of shelf’s on to Iain’s new hat, cockroaches running across work surfaces and electric cables not as they should be 😏.But we persevered and left a clean smelling,clean looking kitchen.
Well done chaps.s
We ended the day with a Briaa at Dan Wasps and heard his story of how they have come to be looking after a little girl from one of the communities. It was a lovely evening.
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Word of the day...hot!
At 8am it was already 19C and it climbed to over 40C at the hottest point while in Somerset (no were not back in England just yet). High in the mountains we met some amazing careworkers, onevery bubbly individual was Joanna who made usall feel very welcome. The whole team got involved with lunch preparation and after all joined in worship before heading out to home visits.
Although the heat was nearly unbearable for us the children spent most of the day playing with the kite, bubbles and skittles we’d brought along to play with.
Wes and I (Clare) went on a home visit. Quite a long, dusty walk. We met a Go Go called Adella who is a refugee from Mozambique. She cares
for her 3 grandchildren who cannot go to school due to not having the papers. Hands are waiting to secure more funding so these kids can go to
The carepoint. Go go’s other son is very ill in
Hospital but she cannot visit him with no
Money or transport. Her other son died. Her
Daughter who is the mum of the kids she cares
For gets some work on a farm. She may come
Home on a Friday and bring a little money or justcabbages if the boss doesn’t pay her because
She is a foreigner.
We were privileged to pray with her and must keep doing so.
Stella and I (Maggie) went to visit a family wherethere are 2 girls, Lebo 9 and Amanda 7, living ontheir own. Their mother is working in Nelspruit quite a distance away and only returns once a month with food. A little while ago the girls were cooking rice and went outside to greet a friend and left the rice cooking which caught fine and started a fire . Neighbours helped put it out and mother came to see but had to go again leaving the girls on their own. They now have to look after themselves but sleep at a neighbour’s as they are very vulnerable. We prayed with them and the Care workers showed them how to keep the house tidy. The girls came back to the Care-point with us.
Before lunch the children sang and said the Lord’s prayers. Lunch today was rice, chicken stew, cabbage with carrots and spinach.
By the time they had had lunch there was time for more play with skittles, skipping ropes etc butwe were all melting from the heat so soon loaded the bus and made our way home for showers!!!!
Iain and his shadow!
Lebo and Amanda
Only 2 more days to go now....
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Last rest day today. We went to church with
Tommy to the small Anglican Church he and
Morgan married at. For those who struggle to
Get to Capel church on time our service started
At 8.30 am and this was their second service of
We all then met at Casterbridge with Tommy,
Morgan and Finn for a light bite and look at the
In one shop was an amazing display of paper
Mache chickens. These are given out plain to
People to decorate and then be auctioned for
Hands at Work.
In the evening we were treated to a Shangan
At a localish hotel. This was drumming, dancing
And singing going through the milestones in a
Tribal village. The buffet which followed
Included bbq crocodile, kudu and worm!!
The hotel had signs all around telling us to be
Aware of wandering Crocodiles and hippos. It was a set on a beautiful river where said hippos
And crocs come out and roam most evenings!
Sadly they did not appear for us, but I did get a bit nervous when Iain got a bit too close to
Abi and Wes being the best looking couple
Around got chosen to dance with the tribesmen!
Day 10. Tuesday 17thSeptember Zwelisha visit two We had an early start today with three groups going out for the holy home visit. The group I was with went to a family that had no father and an ill mother, so Witness a nineteen year old mother herself cared after the children.Nothando a sister of 12 year old, Prudence an 11 year old sister, Ayanda a 5 year with poorly eyes and a brother Sethu of 4 years old. The mother had money problems and her allowance cards for the children had been taken away from her. So she was not getting enough money to feed or clothe the children correctly. At the care point you could see in their eyes that things were not good at home, it was good to go to their home and witness their home life which was not good, Stella prayed for Witness and Grace a lady from another team gave her some encouraging words.We then went back to the care-point with Witness and Nothando were we joined in with the singing and dancing competition were we came last ,but was great to see the children laughing and joining in with the fun, we joined the children with a rice and chicken meal,then headed off back to the hub. A good day, thank you lord.
The team I was in visited a family with Melody , Carla and Julia (one of the Care workers from the care point.) The family consisted of a boy, Success,17,his sister Lindslae,11 and 2 youngerbrothers Polite and Reboy,7 and 5. They haven’t seen their mother for over a month, she just disappears . She has an alcohol problem as many do here. The father is doing peace work in a nearby town and gets home occasionally. Success looks after the family as he has had to leave school after completing Grade 8 but now he can’t go back as he doesn’t have the right papers. It’s a common problem here and very difficult to solve. It relys on the mother producing the paper ID. Success was very sad. He said his dream had been to be a doctor because he wanted to care for people but now he had lost all hope of that. We can’t imagine anything like that happening in the UK. We tried to encourage him and say there were other good things he could do caring for people. We prayed with him for his papers to be sorted out so he could return to school and also for their mother to return. Then we took the younger children back to the Care point for lunch and to play. It was a long walk back and very hot. Onceback, we too joined in with the singing and dancing which was hilarious but I keep thinking aboutSuccess and his struggles in life.
We promised to keep praying for these children and their situations. We heard other stories of some of the other children there and it’s all so sad but Hands at Work do what they can to encourage them through the Care workers.
‘Success’ and his family
Monday 16 September The men had an early morning prayer meeting followed by a group meeting for everyone. Several people and groups are leaving this week including Tommy, Morgan and Finn who are going to Zambia. We prayed for all of them. We were told that many of the Care Workers are persecuted by the own families and communities for the work they do with Hands. A few verses about the persecuted church were read and prayers were said for the CWs. “God can change adversity into triumph”. We then went into another Care Centre Zwelisha, with Audrey, Prudence, Melody and Bethwel, a male care worker. Some of the children are not allowed to go to school because they have no papers. Many are neglected by parents who are alcoholics. We spent time playing and getting to know the children and CW’s.
To be continued ........