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, April 13, 2013
Father lit his 18-month old baby boy on fire?
Having one foot in “first world” and one foot in “third
world” is very disturbing and it is divisive to my soul.
I have been visiting the United States for two
weeks and have had two weeks of "extremes".
I started my travels in “Sin City” Las Vegas where I was
invited to be a part of the MedAssets Business Summit with 4,000 other people
staying in a hotel that has almost as many rooms (3,309) as we have people in
the community surrounding Project Canaan (3,500).I then got to visit a small town in Texas where the people
love Jesus, the Rattlesnakes are waking up and the Tumbleweeds are blowing
across the road as you drive past beautiful Cattle Ranches and farms that are
feeding America. I can only imagine that one day Project Canaan will be a farm
that feeds Swaziland!
Next, I spent two nights in Georgia with women from the US
Bank who have big corporate jobs, but even bigger hearts.At one well-planned dinner they
successfully raised $34,000 to help educate and bring life-changing jobs to women of
Swaziland.While Lori Marschall
and Rona Nix were busy in California raising funds for me to have a good, used,
4 x 4 vehicle “baby rescue” vehicle that will navigate the rough roads of
Swaziland, the women from WOMENETICS provided me with a brand new Porsche 911
to drive to Florida to see Spencer (!). It is SO COOL!
The best part of the whole trip has been getting to visit Spencer!! He is studying “Business Marketing" at Florida State University (home to 44,000 students, which is half the total population of the Capitol City of Mbabane, Swaziland) and for his extra-curricular activity he is a part of the FSU High Flying Circus. We get to see him perform several times this weekend and it makes me
wonder if the babies at El Roi will one day have incredible opportunities like
that?! I am thankful to be here and a very proud mama.
Ian and I are so very proud of Spencer and Chloe.
It has been two weeks of extremes, from locations to
conversations, but my “snap back into my other reality” came when I received a
phone call from Swaziland last week.
There was good news and bad news.The good news was that Baby #28 had arrived at El Roi
and little 10-day old Elisha was happy and healthy.
The bad news rocked my world.We were contacted by the Social Welfare Department to see if
we could make room for and care for an 18-month old baby boy, who had been
badly burned by his father. I
asked Shirley and Ian to gather more information and it slowly came to me as
the week progressed. Here is some of what we know, and what I feel that I can
share with you at this time, while still maintaining some privacy for the
“Social problems” as they are called in Swaziland, are
always complicated, so I will try to explain this as simply as possible.
was married to a man who died a couple of years ago.
lives at her dead husbands homestead with his family and has nowhere else to
gets pregnant by another man (we do not know the circumstances of this
is born, but “culture” does not permit a baby from another man to live with the
mother in her husbands homestead so baby has to go live with his Grandmother
(biological Father’s mother)
January 2013 (baby was 15-months old) the father beat the baby badly around the
face.The issue was settled
“culturally” between the families (?) and no police report was made.
March 13th 2013 the Grandmother was working in the fields and came
in and found the baby crying.She
called him to come and saw that he could not walk.
found severe burns covering his buttocks and genitals.
saw a photo of this baby in the newspaper at the end of March and the burns
were horrific.They showed his
backside and it looked as if the baby was wearing a diaper and it had been lit
father said he had accidently spilled boiling water on the boy, but the family
does not believe this and neither do the doctors.
father is now in prison.
baby is at the Government hospital and while I want to show full respect for
that hospital in this blog, I will say that I do not believe that they have the
resources to give this child the care he needs to survive and recover.I have been there and this child needs
the child is released from the hospital he will need somewhere safe to live.
The mother has asked that we take him because she can’t take him to her “home”
and the father will be released from prison. The whole family is very concerned
about what the father will do when he is released.
The problem is complicated.I am 8,500 miles away. Once I get back I will be taken to
meet the mother, the Grandmother and I will go to the prison to meet the
father, but in the meantime I sit on the other side of the planet and think
about the pain that this boy and his mother are going through. The next step is
to get this child proper care so that he can have a chance at a “normal” life.
I don't know what the future holds as there are many
questions that still need answering. I don’t know if this child is to come to
the El Roi baby home or if the mother and child are to come and live in the
Sicalo Lesisha Kibbutz, but I do know that EL ROI sees them both and has a
plan, and we can help.
I do know that we can do something now, today.Shirley and Ian have secured a bed at a
private hospital in Swaziland who we believe can provide excellent care for
this child.I can’t imagine what
this would cost in America, but in Swaziland the cost for the next 60 days is
almost $30,000 US, not including surgeries, skin grafts or other things that
might be needed.
I know that $30,000 can feed a lot of children or provide
care for many babies, but I think about what if the baby was Spencer or
Chloe?What if the baby who has
massive burns on 20% of his whole body, and in the most private areas was YOUR
child?If it were my child I would
stop at nothing to get him/her proper care.This mother has no options, she has no one to call, no one
to email and no one ask for financial assistance.She is hopeless.But I know that she is praying and asking God for help and He is her
only hope. She is crying out daily for Him to send an angel and I am hoping
that angel is reading this blog.
I will give you all an update after I get back home, but in
the meantime I am hoping to raise a minimum of $20,000 so that we can commit to
the mother that we will help her and move the baby to a different hospital.
Yesterday I posted this need on Facebook and received $1,000 and I am so
thankful for those early responders.We have a long way to go, but I have faith that He will provide.
If you can give today please click
here to make a secure donation.Alternatively you can mail a check to:Heart
for Africa US, P.O.
Box 758 Cape
Girardeau, MO 63702
Heart for Africa Canada, P.O. Box 246, Dept HOPE, Pickering, Ontario, L1V 2R4
I live in a world of extremes. I struggle having one foot in “first
world” and the other foot in “third world”.I long to be at home with my husband, my other babies and my Swazi
family, but I give thanks for the opportunity to be here in this blessed
country and I give thanks for every opportunity that I am being given while
Live from Florida … I am going back to the High Flying
Circus today (and praying for a baby 8,500 miles away).