Daniel Hennessey lost both his house and business premises in the fire. One day, I visited him in their temporary factory space. He told me one of his Malawian workers, Geoff, had something for me. Geoff handed me a wood carving which he’d made on his own initiative. He had crafted it with the tools he’d received from Honeyridge Baptist.
“There is a story to this,” he said, “You can see this carving is of a father, a mother and a child. The parents are surrounding this child with love. You have rescued a baby – You have come around us and helped us. Thank you.”
Timber Village, the famous wood carving and crafting business, was completely razed by the devastating fires and many of their staff were left homeless and jobless. But through the generous giving of many churches, businesses and individuals, it has been rebuilding itself into a stronger body than before. Knysna Baptist were privilege to personally assist Daniel Hennessy who has now taken partnership in rebuilding the business.
While the original site is being rebuilt to house their factory, TimberVillage operate from temporary quarters in Knysna’s industrial area. It’s a squash, but production needs to continue and previous projects lost in the fire need to be urgently reproduced.
Bosch Power Tools, in coordination with Honeyridge Baptist Church were able to supply a superb donation of equipment which stunned the new owners. Carl, partner and friend of Daniel, recalls, “Every week, Daniel would Whatsapp me again and again, saying ‘Look what the Church has given us!’ – I couldn’t believe it, and I don’t know how to thank you enough.”
Timber Village has been able to employ 14 staff, including a young jobless draughtsman who had sunk into addiction. He is now off the streets and significantly contributing to the work. The effect of the help Timber Village has received is almost impossible to quantify.
It has been and continues to be a difficult recovery with heavy emotion, but among those emotions are a bounty of tears of gratitude.