Kelwyn grew up on the streets of Johannesburg.  As a child he was accepted at our shelter (Paradise for Street Children in 80 Albert Street) and then moved on to the Rhema Children’s Village.  At 18 years old he returned to the streets, as his mom was not able to provide adequate accommodation.  He moved into Hands of Compassion and served faithfully.  He was able to secure a piece of ground in Orange Farm; HOC purchased building materials and erected a 2 roomed house with electricity; with our congregation’s donations in kind we furnished it.  

Recovery Programme


Dear Pastor Alan and Pastor Xana, I would like to express my gratitude for all that you have been to me and the life skills you have taught me. Today I don’t have an excuse to say that I never had any help in this world, because of what the Lord has put in your hearts to express his love for all His children. I want to thank you for being His hands of compassion and now I’m looking forward to do the same in the near future. Funny to talk about a future! I never thought I had one! But now I’m going to make things right for my family and I’ll take an example from your family. Thank you for your patience, love and understanding.  People say that you must be in control of your life but I realized that we are never in control, but God is.  Kelwyn.


Hi Pastor Xana, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you and Pastor Alan for helping me and many others on our journey to a better life because of the work you do at HOC. You have transformed so many lives, not just us recoveries, but also our families. Thanks to Hands of Compassion and everything I have learned in my 6 month there, today I am a better man. When I arrived at Hands of Compassion, I was broken and felt rather helpless. My plan was to stay and detox for 6 months, get cleaned up and go back to my old way of life but as I got deeper into my stay, I realized that there was a better way of life. Thanks to everyone at Hands of Compassion, today my life is far better than I expected and I still have a long way to go..

So once again, thank you so much and may you always continue the amazing work that you are doing to change lives for the better. God bless.


A poem from a resident at Hands of Compassion in his recovery to wholeness:


Having emotions that fade away
Moving to a distance far away
To reach a point of no resistance
That needs God’s assistance.
Where formality is a fantasy
Being filled with the insufflation from the Holy Spirit
Death has got to be easy, ‘cause life is hard
It leaves us physically and emotionally scared.
But when the intensity of God touches us
It will leave us with forever joy and healing
Bing filled with harmony for eternity
Every day I have learned to thank God for wisdom.
For I have learned the ways of love
I have learned to pray for love
I have learned to give those who betray me, 
God’s love.
Because I have been searching for love in the wrong places
But not from God
Now I know that the love of God
Is the only love there is.


[Matthew 26:47-50]  Mawande N.

A letter written by a resident of Hands of Compassion to his Team Leader


Thank you Vincent and thank you to all at HOC for this chance at life again; really did not think I was going to make it out there; nowhere to go, nothing to eat, and really cold nights; like I said thank you for this chance to fix things, fix me, fix my life; it’s not going to be easy but I’m giving it my all; thank you; for once I feel at home safe! Give me lots of work to do and I’ll be happy.  I’ll give you guys my best 100%.  Thank you 4 everything!!! God bless.  Ricardo 


First of all I have to give all the glory to God for sending me to Hands of Compassion.  Since I arrived I only grew stronger in the Word.  I have learnt to endure with patience; being a drug addict for the past eight years, I did not know where my responsibility was, but the leadership here at Hands of Compassion has helped me to deal with it.  I'm slowly moving back into a normal life with God.  My relationship with my family and most importantly with my son has been restored.  I believe I am a new person in Jesus Christ and that God's will for my life is to help those with the same problem and to be able to get them to a place such as Rhema Hands of Compassion Recovery Centre.  Life is not going from one drug to another in order to come right; but it's is about finding God and letting God take over and release you from your addiction.  With this I thank God for the counselors at Rhema Hands of Compassion for they helped me in overcoming my problems.   SM



Greetings to all. I would love to thank you for the privilege and for all the things you have done for both me and my baby. There is no place where anyone could do what you did for me and I really appreciate your love and kindness.
I never thought I would be the person I am today; you have taught me so many new things, I have met so many people here at Hands of Compassion and now I am ready to face anything that is going to happen out there in the outside world.
I hope God protects you and your families. I love you so much!
God bless you!  Nomkhitha


Hello sis Pretty (New Mothers Project Leader)… how are you doing?  We are doing very well.  My studies are hectic but I’m hanging in there; the first term was great.  I just wanna thank you for everything that you have done for me and Reign; you have been like a sister to me all through the time I’ve been at HOC.  Thank you for that; you have done more than your job description.  I have to admit that life outside Hands of Compassion is hard but if a person has faith in the Lord and in oneself, there is no doubt that a person will make it.  I miss HOC; it is a great place.  I will never forget my experiences there.  How is Church?  I miss it a lot.  Thank you for every step you have taken with me.  Greet everyone including Wonder.

Love always: Basheera and Reign.



Dear Pretty, I'm hereby expressing my appreciation for everything HOC did to me. But HOC is not it without leaders. Thank you very much of being used to help people like me and even those who are in need. All the effort, encouraging words, advice and even your experience of life that you went through, it really made me and brought me to be a real woman of today. I mean this from the bottom of my heart; I am changed and nothing shall move me anymore. You contributed a lot. God bless you abundantly . From Memory Moyo


Pretty Khowane, I would like to thank you for everything you have done for me, because if it wasn’t by you parental love and support, I  wouldn't  be a strong and confident person I am today. May God bless you and your whole family and protect you all the way. I really don't have many words to say but know that you are very special and you must believe you are the gift God brought to me and for a very good reason. Even through tough times you were always there and even in my weaknesses you never  turned your back against me, instead you gave support ,love and taught me right from wrong. What I promise you  is that I will be the very good mother to Chika as you have been a good mother  to me. Take care of yourself - Lebohang and Chika


To my parents of HOC. When I first arrived at HOC it wasn't what I expected, as I always thought it was just another place of safety. Yet I was never more wrong about anything in my life. And that was a life time worth of lessons that I learnt for that I ‘m so grateful - thank you from the bottom of my heart. May God bless your hearts with its desires. Thanks again from Sabela and Lathitha.



Disaster Relief

One Friday evening in February  we received a phone call from a distraught lady telling us  that a group of people had just been evicted from where they were living (close to HOC). She had seen our vehicles in the area and looked up our number.  We visited the site of the eviction and decided to help accommodate about twenty people at the HOC farm.  We worked late into the night in conjunction with the local disaster management committee, to get some of the people settled into a few of our vacant bedrooms and a hastily erected army tent.  Through the help of an attorney, our guests were able to take their case to court, which decided  that their eviction was illegal and ordered that their original accommodation be re-instated.


It was a blessing to hear that during their stay with us, many had been ministered to, and some of them had experienced God's love.

"It seems that God was blessing us while we stayed on the church's property, as some of us found jobs during this time", commented some of the people. 


I was reminded of the scripture in Isaiah 1:17 "Learn to do good; seek justice; rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless; plead for the widow".


Please continue to pray for us at Hands of Compassion, and thank you for your support. 


Ps Alan McCauley