Saturday, March 23, 2013
What's going on?
I love when I have a quiet week. I am not good at resting so when I have a week that is not jam packed my first reaction is to try to fill it. But I am getting better at NOT doing that, instead, trying to enjoy a quiet week, spend more time reading, listening and praying. I am thankful that He does give me rest before a time of busy travel. On Easter Sunday Chloe and I will fly back to the US for a whirlwind 3-week trip to raise awareness and funds for Heart for Africa. Travel will include Las Vegas, Texas, Georgia, Illinois and Indiana. We are looking forward to seeing friends and family as we share the news of what God is doing here in the tiny Kingdom of Swaziland.
We haven’t had a new baby arrive in more than four weeks. It’s very strange as we were getting an abandoned baby almost every week over the past year. With 27 little lives being cared for at the El Roi Baby Home it has been nice to have a month for the Aunties to get some more training, hire more staff and have time to settle in to new roles that have been established. We are thankful for the amazing people who serve the babies at the El Roi Baby Home. Sadly one of our little girls tested positive for HIV this week and started a lifetime treatment of Anti-Retroviral medication. We are thankful that of the 27 babies only three are positive. That is a miracle.
Things are very busy all around Project Canaan. The Labaketsiwe Toddler Home is moving along nicely and the foundation was poured on Friday, March 22nd. It will be home to 40 children age two to six and will be open in the fall of 2013.
The walls are up and roof is on the Sisekelo Preschool and the interior will be painted next week. It has two classrooms, four toilets, a small kitchen and an office. We will have a “soft opening” in June when the furniture is installed and chalkboards hung, but the school will officially opened in January 2013 with qualified Preschool teachers!
The Lusito Shop (Lusito means *Help Giver in siSwati) has been opened at the Farm Managers Building (FMB) and Denis and his team are busy doing maintenance on all of our equipment as well as fixing vehicles as they breakdown, get flat tires etc. It is a hub of activity and the guys are happy with their new welder and other “toys” (I mean tools) that recently arrived in a container shipped from the US.
Speaking of equipment … look what was donated to Project Canaan last week? A beautiful, gently used D5N XL CAT Bulldozer arrived and we all see it as being a “game changer” here on the farm as we can maintain our own roads, clear more farm land, clear land for building etc.
The Manna Distribution Center has gone from being a dream to being a reality. Building commenced this week and when complete it will be a our central distribution location for everything that we deliver to our church partners including Feed My Starving Children Manna Packs, TOMS Shoes, rice from Taiwan, Bibles, clothing, Duduza Dolls and blankets. We currently provide 10,000 hot meals each and every week to orphans and vulnerable children around the country through our partner churches.
The farm at Project Canaan is busy. We have 14 acres growing vegetables and green maize in rotation. They area all under drip irrigation and will be sold in local grocery stores (i.e .Pic’n’Pay, Spar and local markets) as they are harvested. We also have 38 acres of dry maize planted that will be harvested in April. This is the maize that is dried, ground and used for our church feeding programs.
We now have a Sunday service at the Chapel on Project Canaan where everyone is welcome to come and worship. This saves many hours of driving to and from town and gives everyone at Project Canaan a chance to be together after a busy week.
The Kufundza Center is being used daily and among other carpentry needs they are busy building more double decker cribs for the babies at El Roi.
For those of you who have read this far, you may be interested in a new blog that I post on Wednesdays. It is called “Wednesdays With Nomsa” and is the story of a young woman who is fighting for her life. She is HIV positive and has MultiDrug- Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). You can follow her story at wednesdayswithnomsa.blogspot.com.
A lot is happening here at Project Canaan in Swaziland and we are thrilled to be employing more than 100 Swazi workers this month on the farm, building teams and at the Baby Home. In a country with a 70% unemployment rate, this is GREAT NEWS and it means that more than 1,300 people are being provided for from those income generators. We are thankful for His provision of workers, volunteers from the US, Canada, Ireland and South Africa as well as the funding to continue this work. As my husband Ian often says, “It’s all good”.
Live from Swaziland … it’s all good.