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, August 10, 2013
Why is Chloe going to school in Taiwan?
That question is likely the most often asked question this
year, so let me take this opportunity, while I am sitting in Taichung, Taiwan
to give you the answer.
When we moved from Canada to Alpharetta, Georgia Chloe was
in 4th grade (or Grade 4 as we say in Canada).She attended Kings Ridge Christian
School for the rest of her Primary School years until she graduated and moved
to Milton High School for 9th grade.It was during that year that we decided to move to
Swaziland, Africa at the end of May 2012. Spencer would have finished High
School and would move on to Florida State University and Chloe would attend a
private High School in Swaziland called Waterford Kamhlaba.
Only five days after we landed at our new, almost finished
home, at the top of a remote mountain in Swaziland, Chloe entered the middle of
her 10th grade year (or Form 4 as we say in Swaziland).She would be required to cram a full
year of school in to half a year, while adjusting to a new continent and way of
life.The move was difficult,
school was intense, internet communication was almost impossible and it was a
bumpy landing for all of us (except for Spencer who moved to a new state in to
his first apartment at the age of 18 – yes, you sense a touch of“Mother’s guilt”).
Chloe was not happy. She had a 90 minute commute to and from
school each day, had a huge workload, a totally new way of teaching/learning
and was missing her friends back at “home”.Even knowing where “home” was, was a challenge.Ian and I would say that Canada was
“home”, but both our children would say that Georgia was “home”. Now some of us
lived in Swaziland and one in Florida. Where was home really?The first six months in Swaziland were
really, really hard and we knew soon enough that Waterford was not the place
for Chloe.But if not Waterford,
where?I have no ability to teach Home
School. We didn’t believe that Georgia (or the US) was right for her because we
don’t have family there, and Canada seemed like a life-time away from where we
were then.It was time to pray and
pray fervently because it seemed like there was no solution, or not one that we
Chloe with Ralph's dog Elmer
InOctober 2012 I had the privilege of being invited to
Taiwan for the annual Walk For Water event hosted by my dear friend Lewis
Lu.Lewis and his High School
students host an International Youth Conference every year in Taiwan and for
the past few years they have had a Walk-a-thon to raise money to help us at
Heart for Africa Swaziland.We are
so thankful for their continued involvement and support.
During my visit in 2012 I was also invited to speak at a
private school called the Morrison Academy (MA).I had been invited to speak there in 2011 through one of our
past Heart for Africa trip volunteers named Cynthia Lim.Cynthia works at MA and arranged for me
to share at their weekly Chapel Service and I was thrilled to be invited back
again in 2012.
When I got back to Swaziland I was telling Chloe and Ian
about my trip.I love Taiwan and
consider it a second (third? Fourth?) home.I was also telling them about this really cool school that I
had spoken at (MA).Chloe looked
at me and after a while said, “I think that is the school I am supposed to go
to”.Ha.Not a chance.First of all, it is in TAIWAN, which just happens to be a MILLION miles
in the opposite direction of where Spencer lives and both countries that we had
After several attempts at discussing this option with us
Chloe said, “Why don’t you pray about it?”
Well, I didn’t need to pray about it. The thought was absurd
AND besides, she wouldn't qualify for the school because it was designed for
children of Missionaries who were serving in Taiwan and other parts of Asia,
Seaweed flavored Lay's Potato Chips?
But when your 16-year old reminds you to “ask God” what He
thinks, rather than leaning on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6) you kind
of have to do it.And so we
did.And that is the beginning and
the end of the story. What seemed impossible became possible. Obstacles were easily overcome and Ian, Chloe and I all had total peace. After a visit to Taiwan (and Japan) in January we knew that Chloe was to finish up her High School in Taiwan and became increasingly excited about this new opportunity.
Chloe’s application was accepted, we found a wonderful host
family whom she will live with, she worked diligently to complete Geometry and
World History on line to get ahead of the game before starting school and now
she starts 11th Grade on Monday morning at Morrison Academy in
I am in awe of a God who sees everything and whose plans for
us are beyond our wildest imagination. If Lewis Lu hadn’t come to serve in
Swaziland, I never would have met Cynthia. If Cynthia had not invited me to
speak at Morrison, Chloe would not be attending this new school. If Chloe had
not attended Morrison Academy in TAIWAN for the last two years of her High School
life, then … what?
It is unfathomable to think of how the entire trajectory of
her life has just changed. We thought that happened when she moved to
Swaziland, but now what?Who
knows?God knows. And for that we
give thanks and rest in peace that His plans ARE in fact perfect.
Live from Taiwan … it’s Saturday afternoon.
PS – What is Chloe thinking about all this right now?You can read for yourself on her blog
from last week. I encourage you to take the time – you will be inspired: http://chloemaxwell.blogspot.tw/2013/07/sitting-in-silence.html