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Saturday, April 12, 2014

What am I looking forward to?


Our "big kids" say "HAPPY EASTER!"
 It has been a long week. There are many things that have frustrated me, hurt me, challenged me, angered me, and at times made me want to just give up on my African brothers and sisters.  That blog may (or may not) be written next week.  But for now I am on a countdown. In four short days Ian and I will get on a plane and go back to the US and Canada.  It will be the first time that Ian has been back since we moved almost two years ago.   In five short days we will be with Spencer in Georgia and will be able to Skype Chloe on High Speed Internet so that both voice and image work at the same time.  It is hard to explain what a big deal that is.  At the end of our trip we will see my mom and Ian’s family.  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about seeing my mom again.  I miss both my parents very much.

View of the Children's Campus from where the next Children's Home will be built.

I love living in Swaziland and wouldn’t change it for anything, but I really miss our kids and what our “normal” life used to look like.  Our 19-year old son, Spencer, is a 15-hour flight West in Georgia and our 17-year old daughter, Chloe, is a 15-hour flight East in Taiwan.  And I am not going to lie, that part of this “calling” is really, really hard, for us all.  But in a few days we will see Spencer and this mama’s world will spin beautifully for a couple of weeks.   (Of course consistent water pressure, consistent hot water, consistent filtered water, no power outages and restaurants with edible food are all an extra bonus).

Our trip back is an important time of fundraising for the next children’s home.  Since we get a baby every 14.4 days we expect to have 69 orphaned or abandoned children living at Project Canaan by December 2014.  We have 52 right now.  Ian is the “spreadsheet King” and has all of the data tracked so we know that if the current trends from the past two years continue we will have 230 children living here by 2020.  That is only six short years away.  We need to have the next building ready for our “big kids” to move in by February 2015.  Stay tuned for more information on this initiative.

This growth requires a lot of planning, not only for housing, schools, medical care, transportation, but also overall provision of care, love, food, clothing and a hope for the future of each of these children.   20% of our children have chronic conditions (10% HIV/AIDS and 10% with some type of physical disability, mostly Cerebral Palsy related) and each of those need an extra special care plan as well.  There is much that we are thinking about and planning for and we give thanks to the Lord for sending the right people at the right time with the right knowledge and heart. 

Rose and Gabriel are twins and they are our eldest (age 3).
Our goal continues to be achieving self-sustainability and we now have a plan that we believe will work.    While in the US we will be presenting Project Canaan Phase TWO:  The Road to Sustainability to anyone with ears to hear.  If you live in the Georgia area or want to come and hear about the next phase, we will be speaking on the evening of Monday, April 28th and Tuesday, April 29th.  For details please email Tricia Ford at tricia@heartforafrica.org

We have surrendered our lives to a very big God and when I get upset or angry or frustrated or hurt Ian always reminds me that I must leave those emotions at the cross.  It’s always a good reminder, but not always easy to do. Thank you all who pray for us and the global Heart for Africa team daily.  We feel your prayers and give thanks for you.

Live from Swaziland … the sun is setting and the blue haze over the mountains is stunning.

Janine

PS - If you are looking for a great and unique Easter gift, please consider helping us feed Swazi children on Easter.  Click here for details
 

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