Saturday, April 25, 2015
What if God asked YOU to move to Africa? We are thankful for the people who said, “Yes”.
It’s Saturday afternoon and it’s the end of a long week, which is at the end of a long 5 weeks. Like anyone whose been away from home for 4-weeks, there is a LOT of work to catch up on when you return. Ian and I have had a very intense week filled with meetings, decision-making, project follow-up and new project initiation. Those things, coupled with jet-lag and the important role of planning a Memorial service for Shirley Ward (complete with accommodation many Royal and Government VIP’s) has made sitting on our patio to write this blog, a good ending to a good week.
While we had a lot to do when we got home, we continue to give thanks to the amazing team of people who keep things running smoothly while we are away. Our Swazi and Kenyan leadership are truly amazing and we are thankful for the extra burden they carry when we are away. None of it is easy, but they all do it with grace and joy.
Today I would like to tell you about the other people who help our Swazi’s and Kenyan’s “hold the fort” as we say in North America … the people who heard God tell them to “move to Africa”… most Christian’s worst fear, and they said, “YES”.
Our long-term volunteers have “given up everything” to come and serve here and while this list is in no way exhaustive, I want you to think about it from your own perspective, what if it was YOU who was asked to move to Swaziland to serve the Lord at Project Canaan.
· They miss seeing their own children, family, friends or co-workers whenever they want to.
· They miss having their family present when their baby is being born.
· They miss having their mom their to rock their newborn to sleep or feed him/her so that she can get some rest.
· They miss favorite restaurants, movies and entertainment of almost any kind, whenever they choose.
· They miss reliable electricity, internet and hot water, not to mention paved roads, fully stocked grocery stores, and International borders that don’t close.
· They miss access to making a simple phone call to say hello to a friend, complain about a bad day or share good news.
· They miss “normal” mail service to drop a card in the mail or send birthday wishes or condolences for a lost loved one.
· They miss the seeing the latest episode of the favorite show, or real time sports games or the Stanley Cup playoffs.
· They miss birthday parties, and anniversaries and graduations and Easter and Thanksgiving and Christmas and Mother’s Day and Father’s day.
· They miss visiting their parents who are in a nursing home, or friends who are in hospital.
· They miss attending funerals of children dying of childhood cancer or aged relatives slipping away in their sleep.
· They miss sleeping in their own beds, in their own homes (without bars, electric fencing, a security guard and 44 little children in the same building).
· They miss the “normal” part of a “normal North American life” including traffic jams, annoying co-workers, their home church on Sunday, dry cleaners and drive-thru restaurants.
But in return for their obedience, they get to see miracles every day, they get to see what God is doing everyday and they get to be a part of a new work that is and will continue to change the face of the Kingdom of Swaziland including. Here are just a few examples of how our long-term volunteers are directly having impact at Project Canaan. They are:
· Producing milk for the children who live at Project Canaan.
· Identifying and stopping the spread of diarrhea or ear infections to 90 other children.
· Designing jewelry and training men and women to make it so that they can provide for their own families rather than begging in the streets for food.
· Developing and teaching good farming and management practices that will help generate income to make Project Canaan self-sustainable.
· Driving a baby to the emergency room to save his/her life, and then getting to pick that baby up again when he/she has been healed.
· Making cheese to be sold in local grocery stores to help generate income and awareness of the work that is being done.
· Teaching the once abandoned children who now live about Project Canaan about language, spelling, math, colors and texture as well as about love, giving, caring and the Word of God.
· Constructing beautiful buildings that will last for generations and be home to hundreds of orphaned children that God is sending for safety at Project Canaan.
· Sitting and rocking an Autistic child to calm his spirit and tell him he is loved.
· Making sure that our accounting practices are excellent, current, accountable and beyond reproach.
· Doing CPR on a dying baby in the backseat of a car, while your husband is rushing to the hospital with hopes of saving the child’s life.
There are not enough words for me to list all of the things that our volunteers do here in Swaziland, or to fully explain their lives here, but Ian and I want to say “thank you” to each of you. Please know that we love you and are so incredibly proud of you and thankful for the sacrifices you have made to follow Him.
May the Lord bless you abundantly for your obedience and continue to give you the desires of your hearts.
Live from Swaziland … it’s Saturday night.