Sunday, 17 August 2014

At the airport!!!

I cannot believe how quick our time in South Africa has gone! We are already in the airport to go home! I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces and sharing our experiences.


Thank you David for coming to minister to the church family today - said prayers for you all as I walked the gardens at Mercy Air before we left this morning. Much to thank God for and still so much more to reflect on and to share with others. I am wondering today who are our most vulnerable and how we might reach out in our community.Thank you for all your prayers and support. See you soon, God willing,


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Leaving mercy air

Today is our last day at Mercy Air. We are so grateful to Richard and Rose for arranging such a special week. We have met some amazing people serving God through the ministry of Mercy Air and look forward to meeting up with Paul and Cathy when we were in the West Midlands. Mercy Air's ministry is to fly planes holding medical suppliesand people across South Africa and so much more. It has been a great privilege to listen to stories of those that work here and to hear how God has worked in their lives. We have all greatly benefited from the loving hospitality that we have recieved here. The children have had playmates, swam in the pool and we've all made new friends from accross the world.

Thanks be to God for all that we have recieved and learnt during our time in South Africa!
We pack tonight to fly home tomorrow and look forward to sharing with you all what we have learnt.


(Typed by Oscar and we found wifi at last-sorry for not blogging this week)

The content of this blog represents the sole views of Mandy walker, not of Hands@Work or any other persons.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Last Day at. Hands@Work

Said our farewells to the "big five", our international team mates. Praying for them as they journey on. We had the opportunity afterwards for some time as a family, so went up to Blyde River Canyon. Spectacular scenery, long winding roads home through plantations and great swathes of forested hillside. Monkeys and pigs crossing the road caused great amusement! Thanks to Rose and Richard for the recommendation to stop at Harries Pancake House en route at Graskop - a real teat for us today. 

Tomorrow we begin a new adventure. We set off for church at 8am with Alicia, one of the Hands@Work Regional Coordinators. Looking forward to being together as a family. After church we leave Hands to drive to Mercy Air for some rest and reflection before we journey home. 

Praying for our church family back home as you gather to worship tomorrow - May you know God's presence and the joy of worshipping together. 


The content of this blog represents the sole views of Mandy Walker, not of Hands@Work or any other persons.

Friday, 8 August 2014


It doesn't seem possible that we have been at Hands@Work for seven days now. Today we met as a team with the Hands@Work regional support team, to listen and to share our experiences. This is one of the great strengths of the organisation, as a charity they prepare their short term volunteer teams well before a visit and offer a number of opportunities to reflect on your experiences before you leave.

Eleven of us met this morning and we were asked to share something that had been a highlight of our time here and something that had been hard or challenging. What we discovered was that each of us has been on a journey with God and in different ways we have been challenged to grow in faith and obedience. One of my personal highlights has been to listen to people talking about their faith and to see God at work in so many ways in their lives; children, Careworkers, Care-co-ordiantors, Regional Support Team members, Service Centre Volunteers and those who have come on short service teams as we have. Many shared their stories, as a parent it was especially encouraged to listen to our children speak of their faith and how they have felt about being here this week.

There is almost indiscribable material poverty, amongst so many we visited this week - and so much more, often we met complete family breakdown, with parents either absent by choice or through death. Children living in groups with an older sibling or relation caring for them. Men have frequently left for work and if they return, are disempowered through their own pain, grief or unemployment. Strong, healthy role models are hard to find.

The work of Hands is to bring the love and hope of Christ into these places, offering listening, compassion and practical help to empower these families, through the Careworkers. One of whom I met this week is known as Angel. It struck me how fitting a title this was for a woman who gives of herself, tirelessly to others. I was reminded to of our 'Angles' back home, those who visit the sick, lonely, bereaved and troubled. We have much to thank God for in their example to us. So much good does continue to be brought into our world, so often unheralded, quietly carried in the arms of love for Christ.

As we leave here in two days, we will bring away with us so much more than we could ever hope to give. Each of us has been touched by Christ afresh and challenged in different ways. When  we meet again face to face, asking ' how was Africa? ' will be hard to share in one sentence. So why not suggest a cup of coffee and an ear to listen to what God is doing here in this very beautiful but very needy country, where children die every day because they have no food or are endangered by their own communities for complex, deep rooted and painful reasons.

The content of this blog represents the sole views of Mandy walker, not of Hands@Work or any other persons.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Psalm 85

Reading Psalm 85 this morning 'let me hear what God the Lord will speak' was my prayer as day one at Hands@Work began.There is much to hear here.The team set off at 8.30am for Jackie's church. Jackie is a Kenyan  volunteer who will be taking us out into the community this week. over coffee after church she shared some of her journey and her life here at Hands. Hands is a very international community, some come for short while,others for a specified time and others have made Hands their home. We spent the afternoon with Alicia and her beautiful son Haydon.Alicia is our host and as all good hostesses she showed us around the Hands@Work community as the sun began to set. The accommodation makes its way up the hillside, with space to play and have fun - with swings, a tree house and trampoline (Oscar and Amelia feel quite at home). As we walked we talked about the work here, about enabling and empowering others, of prayer and of being able to make ourselves vulnerable to listen and learn. The bats are flying about me now, the night is here and we're about to eat with our team in what is known as the village at Hands@Work - the kitchen, dining area and lounge. Our team members are Lindsey, Sam and Leanna from Canada, Camilla from Poland, Nicky from Holland and the Walkers - feeling very blessed to be here from Streetly.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

We are here, at White River

Hi everybody, we are here! We are sooo exited and we are all looking forward to meeting and doing new things! We have to get up at half past 7 tomorrow to go to church but it doesn't matter. We are all so exited and happy!