On 27 February 1992, a handful of Nazarenes in Germany who had decided not to remain immune to suffering established a small organization which they called “Helping Hands”.

A quarter of a century later, Helping Hands has relieved suffering and laid foundations for holistic transformation through sustainable development
and disaster response projects in more than 50 countries, especially in South Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.

“Assist. Empower. Transform.” is a loose English translation of Helping Hands’s
German motto (“Wirkungsvoll helfen, nachhaltig verändern”) and illustrates the way in which the organization has chosen to extend “helping hands” – by assisting the poorest of the poor in a culturally appropriate and effective manner, empowering people to become independent and help themselves, and holistically transforming the lives of individuals, families and whole ommunities.

While the organization is registered as an independent non-profit charitable society in Germany, it works closely together with German Nazarene congregations as well as ministering in partnership with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in many countries, raising funds, assisting projects (also through child sponsorship), offering services and reporting back to donors.

One of the ways in which Helping Hands collaborate with the Germany District of the Church of the Nazarene is the annual Christmas parcel project, where Nazarenes all over Germany pack parcels with food and hygiene items in order to provide “Christmas joy” to families in Romania and Bulgaria.

Helping Hands
also joins hands with the district through the “Shadow Riders” bicycle fundraiser that supports a Nazarene child development center in Sri Lanka and various other fundraisers conducted by and in churches throughout the year, including a number of “Joggathons” that support different projects.

Helping Hands is also making an impact through the “paXan” young adult mission trips that are done in collaboration with NYI Germany. Since 2002, 14 teams have ministered in Europe, Asia and North America, supporting small projects with manual labor but also offering peace and encouragement and showing marginalized people that they are valuable and loved. As a result of this ministry, several long-term projects Helping could be established, for instance child development centers in Sri Lanka and Albania.

No matter where or what sort of project is supported, Helping Hands emphasizes sustainable development with long-term effects and local empowerment in the context of reaching out with the love of Christ and His transforming power. On their 25th anniversary, Helping Hands is looking forward to the next quarter century of assisting, empowering and transforming in the name of Christ.

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