On May 31st, 2012 the Maxwell family boarded a plane and moved to Swaziland to live at Project Canaan. I hope to update my blog on Saturday mornings and share, as honestly as I can, the highs and lows of our life in Africa. We are living on a farm in a remote part of this tiny Kingdom and are serving the community as well as the orphans and vulnerable children of the nation. The 365 day count down started on June 1st, 2011, but the real journey begins now. Thanks for joining us.
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Saturday, January 12, 2013
Baby #23 arrives while 15 children still starve at home alone
On Thursday I got a call from a Social Worker at a local
hospital saying that there was another case of rape and the 17-year old girl
couldn’t possibly care for the baby that had been born that morning.Fortunately some of our friends and
family signed up to give monthly to support the El Roi Baby Home over the
Christmas holidays so I was able to say “YES” when asked if I could pick up the
baby on Monday.That baby would be
#23 and what a gift to have a team of volunteers here with us to celebrate his
Then late Friday afternoon I got a call about another
newborn baby boy, this time from a different hospital in a different part of
the country.His mother is
26-years old and is in and out of the psychiatric hospital with many voices
talking in her head.Her own mother
kicked her out of the house when she came home pregnant, but would welcome her
back without a baby.Could we take
him?The answer was “yes” and he
would be baby #24.
So baby #23 actually will be baby #24 when we go to pick him
up on Monday.
When does it end?What is our maximum?I am
often asked those questions by well-intentioned people from North America, but I
am never asked that question by my Swazi or Kenyan co-workers or family.Not ever.Why is that?I
think it is because they have been there when a baby is found or when a baby
shows up starving to death or having been burned or left on the side of the
road.It’s great to build
spreadsheets and set goals, but at the end of the day we must prayerfully say
yes to any and all babies that El Roi (the God who Sees) sends to us.I am not sure how I will say “no”, if
and when that day comes.
I am thankful to each and every person who supports Heart
for Africa and the El Roi home for abandoned babies.I have no doubt that El Shaddai(Our Provider) will continue to provide for these little
ones.I could not do my job
without you and I can’t imagine not doing what I do.I love my job, my calling and am eternally thankful to have
been given this gift.
Taking the baby to the car to bring him home.
Early this morning we drove to Siteki to pick up the 4-day
old baby boy, named Asher (means “Happy”) we stopped to drop food off to the
homestead with 15 children living with no caregiver, whom I write about often.A dear friend from Missouri dropped
money off at the US office yesterday and asked me to buy them some food.Last week I took Manna Packs and 10 KG
of rice, which should have been sufficient for a month. Today I brought
bananas, bread, oil, onions, potatoes, squash and other fresh food. We even
brought plastic plates and cups because the children all eat out of the hot
cooking pot with bare hands.Today, I discovered that the food I left last week had been stolen by a
19-year old “Auntie”.Nice
eh?I am so angry. But
that fight is for another day.
15 children living with no adult to provide for them.
Our last stop before getting Asher home was at the National
Tuberculosis Hospital.My young
friend (Leah & Rachel’s mother) asked if I could bring her some
mayonnaise.Mayonnaise?Yes, because she said the food was
inedible and she thought mayonnaise might help.When I walked in her room I found a young woman lying naked,
face down on the concrete floor.She couldn’t have weighed more than 70 pounds and was skin and
bone.I was shocked and asked my
friend if she was alive. She said yes, and shook her head. She said, “She is
very sick and has gone mad. She refuses to lie on her mattress so lies here
until they come and put her back.”Minutes later two people came in with masks on (to protect from the TB),
then put on rubber gloves and lifted/dragged the lifeless body back to her
mattress on the floor. That is a vision that will never leave my head, and I am
thankful that our volunteers stayed in the car with the new baby.
That’s all for today, I am a bit weary and weepy and it is
time to sit on the patio, look at the beauty that God has created and give