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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today we move to Africa, for real.

The 365-day countdown has come to an end.  Today is the day we get on a plane and move to Swaziland, Africa.  This year has flown by, but this past week seemed like it took another year.  Transition is hard and I can't say that I have handled it well…there were many tears, too many times snapping at my family, and then more tears.  But today is the day I have longed for since 2003.  It is time to move and serve the Lord whom I love on a continent that I love.

I wondered what to do about the Maxwell's Moving to Africa blog and, while the URL will stay the same, I think I will change the name of it to "Live from Swaziland ... it's Saturday morning" (said in my best "Live from New York... it's Saturday Night" voice).  I will try to blog every second Saturday if I can.  At this point we don’t anticipate having regular internet service, but hopefully it will improve with time.  I am an eternal optimist.

We have been building a house on Project Canaan that won’t be quite ready for us when we arrive, so we will live in the long-term volunteer housing until it is finished.  All our furniture and "stuff" is stuck at the border and they won't release it until we arrive, so it looks like we won't have the soft landing that I had hoped for, but at least it is there.  The water filtration system is in the container as well, so we won’t have drinkable water until the container is released and the filtration system is installed.  The electric fencing is still being installed, and we are not sure about whether we have electricity yet (which is obviously required for the ELECTRIC fencing to work).

Chloe will start school on June 6th - parachuting into the middle of 10th grade (they call it Form 4 there).  The school year runs January to December so she will have some work to do to catch up. She scored really well on the admission testing and she is a straight A student, so we are confident that she will do just fine.

Spencer is coming with us on May 31st and will stay for three weeks to help get us settled.  I am so thankful for that.  We will come back in August to get him settled at Florida State University (and shed another bucket of tears I am sure).

Last week my mom was sent to a hospital in Guelph from the nursing home where she was living. She will be moved to a mental hospital next week where they will try to find a way to stabilize her mentally so that she can return to the nursing home and have them provide proper care (which she has been refusing).

I am hit with waves of emotion that seem to be uncontrollable and at times unbearable.  I long for this time of transition to be over.  While we have worked in Swaziland since 2005 (Spencer calculated that he has been in Africa for 70+ WEEKS since he was ten years old), I am sure there will be things that we are not prepared for. That is okay. We will be home, finally, and for that I am grateful. 

We fly out of Atlanta today, May 31st, and will arrive in Johannesburg on June 1st, where we will be met at the airport by Kaleli Mulli, and my second best friend (next to Ian of course), Ralph Glass, from Canada.  We will drive to Swaziland on Saturday, June 2nd and I will try to give you a report somewhere along the way.

So with that I say thank you to all of you who have followed us on all or part of this 365-day journey.  Thanks for your prayers, your encouragement and your friendship.  You will never know how much you all mean to me.  Thank you Jesus for choosing our family to go and serve and thank you for giving each of us the courage to say “yes”.



  1. God speed in your travels! We'll wait to hear updates from you. Thanks for saying yes!

    1. Please know I am praying for you and your family. I'll see you in September.

      Mark Anderson