Follow our weekly news by email

Saturday, December 30, 2017

If I knew then, what I know now …



If I knew in 2005, when we were first called to volunteer in Africa, that I would be mother to 179 Swazi children, I would have said, “No!”  I would have said it was impossible.

If Ian and I had a crystal ball back in 2005 and saw that we would be living on a 2,500 acre farm in Swaziland, would be legal guardians to 179 Swazi babies, be responsible for 280+ employees and managing a feeding program for 3,200 children each month, I would have run to the closet and completely shut down.  I truly believe that neither of us would have said YES to the calling.  

We are not super heroes, we are not super Christians, some days I don’t even think I am a very good person.  I get frustrated, angry and don’t always respond the way I should.

But God knows us and He calls us in a way that we will hear and know His voice.  For us, He made Africa an adventure.  It was a fun, frustrating, invigorating, intriguing, challenging and addictive adventure. And we love adventures. 

I have told you this before, but so many people think we are saints, and have sacrificed so much.  Our long-time friends and our children can assure you we are not. But people also think that if Ian and Janine had not moved to Swaziland, then the 179 children who live here might be dead.  I respectfully disagree.
I truly believe that if we had chosen to stay in our comfy life in Toronto with a big house, nice cars, great income, private schools etc that it is us who would have missed out.  I truly believe that the 179 children who are alive and well at Project Canaan today would still have been rescued, because God would have chosen someone else who said, “yes”.  And we would be stuck in a world that no longer gave us joy or hope.

My head spins at that thought.

I think Chloe has claimed Holly as her own (and River has claimed Chloe :)
I love watching Spencer with little Christina and baby Ivy.
My message to you today is this – what are you missing out on because you are focused on you or your family, and not on the one who has an amazing adventure for your life serving Him?  What are you missing out on because you are afraid to say “yes” to a nudging that you are feeling?   Following Jesus is not easy and who knows, maybe He will even ask you to move to Africa (hahah).

Joshua 1:9 says, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Is 2018 your year to be strong and courageous?  I hope so.  You will never regret it.

Live from Swaziland … living in His strength and courage.

Janine

Please consider making a year-end gift to support our continued work in 2018. 

To give in the US please click here.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Newborn twin girls arrived today



What do you do on your Christmas family holiday?

 This week has been a busy one, but with the perfect rhythm of winding down for Christmas. We picked up Spencer and Chloe at the airport in Johannesburg, did our last minute Christmas shopping in South Africa, hosted a Christmas party with the Project Canaan staff and had our celebration dinner for our Kindergarten and Primary school students who excelled in school last semester (complete with KFC,  Root Beer floats and the Grinch).


Today I planned to do welcome some special visitors, go to Kids Club, do some last minute wrapping and food prep for some family favorites. Mid day I got a call that stopped me in my tracks and reminded me of why we are here.

The caller shared the sad news that there was a set of newborn twin girls who were born on Tuesday at home and whose mother died suddenly last night. The police and social welfare were involved with the case and were dealing with a hysterical old Grandmother who was left mourning the death of her daughter and knowing that she could not possibly care for the newborn twins. She was extremely poor, living in squalid conditions. I was asked if we could take the babies? I said “yes”, and hopped in the car with Spencer and Chloe to go pick them up.

These little ones will be our 9th set of twins (!).  As they are “Christmas babies” we have named them Holly and Ivy. They will also carry Swazi names, naming them after their mother and Grandmother.  They bring our baby total up to 178 (receiving 32 in 2017).  These two little girls are the sweetest little babies, weighing 2.4KG (5.2 lbs) and 2.2 KG (4.8 lbs). 


Thank you for coming along in this adventure with me each week. I love that together we can celebrate birthdays, new babies, and miracles.  Equally I appreciate that together we can mourn the loss of children, pray for very sick children and share the frustrations of security issues and crime.  In all of these things, we give thanks to the Lord for His provision and steadfast love.

As I often say, it takes a village to raise a child, and I am thankful that you are a part of our village.

PS Please consider making a year end financial gift to help Holly and Ivy and their 176 brothers and sisters.

In the US click here.

In Canada click here.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Live from Swaziland … I am at peace.

Janine

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Naughty or nice?


Leah and Rachel
For those of you who follow me or Heart for Africa on social media you will know that I have been posting Christmas photos of all of our children this week as we all count down the 12 Days of Christmas.  Day one was our eight sets of twins, day two our siblings, day three our tiny babies and our “cry babies” (the ones who didn’t enjoy the photo shoot) and day four was our biggest miracle children.

Today I am posting our “naughty and nice” list, but I will leave it to the viewer to identify who is who.  Anyone who has met any of those children will automatically know which one is which.  I’ll give you two in this blog as a teaser.  


David

Hope

It is so fun to watch the personalities of our bigger kids evolve as their language evolves.  From Titus coming up and whispering, “I like your hair”, to Emmanuel asking if Ian is going to bring his airplane (drone) today.  My favorite of last week was Moses at the End of Year Awards when he leaned over to me and quietly said, “Teacher Amber is going to say ‘Moses’”.  He was SO EXCITED that Amber was going to say his name out loud for all to hear.  

Titus


Moses
We definitely have some naughty children (some of our twins are the worst), but what we do see is that they are also VERY smart, potentially bored, and definitely strong willed.  I love that our leadership team can also see that, and we work together to help each child develop to their potential, create their own identity, while disciplining with love.  That wasn’t an easy job with only two children, and it’s exponentially hard with 175, but I can honestly say that the Lord is our strength and He is guiding and directing us all.  Without Him we can do nothing.

It is year-end giving time friends, and I ask that you consider making a year-end gift so that we can continue to give the individual attention that is almost impossible in an environment like this.  Please join our village and help us raise these children to be all that God is calling them to be.

To give a gift in the US please click here.

To give a gift in Canada please click here.

Spencer and Chloe will be home in five more sleeps.  I love seeing the young adults that they have become and can’t wait to hear of their adventures since we were together last.  Serving the Lord ain’t for sissies and I am eternally thankful for the support that both of our children give us each and every day.

Live from Swaziland … time to fill the fridge!

Janine

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Good - a giant sandbox for dozens of children to play in.
   
I almost titled this blog “A day in the life of the Maxwell’s in Swaziland”, but it was a bit too long.  I wanted to share a quick peak in to the good, the bad and the ugly of our week.

What was good this week?  We built two large sandboxes for our Emseni children to play in.  This will provide hours of fun while we are working on building swings and a giant playground.

A second sandbox in the Oasis playground.
What was bad this week?  Our little 3-year-old Enoch fell and broke his leg.  Even with wonderful caregivers and lots of attention, boys will be boys. We are thankful to have access to a great orthopedic doctor, and that Enoch didn't need surgery.

Bad - a 3-year-old with a broken leg.
What was ugly this week?  It started with some beautiful rain for many, many hours, and ended with a significant chunk of the retaining wall at our Primary school collapsing.  We see the error in our design and will terrace the wall as we rebuild.

Ugly - retaining wall collapses from heavy rain run off.
There is never a dull moment, nor is there a boring day when living on a farm with 175 and 270 employees.   Today I am asking for you to consider making a year-end gift to help us continue this important work in 2018. 

To give in the US please click here.


Thank you for your love and support.  I am thankful for our global village that is helping us do this work.

Live from South Africa … we are on a mission with a shopping list of needs for our children. 

Janine

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Cue the calf

Cue the calf.
 When I was in the marketing business, we had an in-house photo studio and we did a lot of food and product photography. That was the “easy” part, but photographing children was always the hardest photography to do.

A few weeks ago we had the idea of setting up a manger scene (down at our dairy of course) and get a nice photo of an angel looking over baby Jesus in the manager.  We could have one of our cows in the background and it would be perfect.

We chose Rose for the angel role as she is beautiful and always does what she is asked to do.  Then I went to get our smallest baby boy to play the role of Jesus. I was quickly told by the Supervisor that I had to take baby Mercy because “she is really pretty, always smiles” (and is a favorite in a place where we are not to have favorites!). I didn’t really have a choice, so took the baby I was handed.  It was not lost on me that our baby girl called “Mercy” was taking the place of baby Jesus.

Down to the dairy we went and our young volunteer Jacob came to help put the calf in the shot.  The 3-day-old calf wasn’t interested in participating, and 6-year-old Rose didn’t think that our request to allow the calf to suck her whole hand to keep him there was reasonable.  Thus, we had Jacob put the calf beside a reluctant Rose, and then jump out of the photo (with the calf running after him).  Then “perfect” baby Mercy started to cry because she didn’t like the prickly straw poking her and the calf was not happy about the crying baby. 

All in all, we did this quickly and efficiently so that we have some really cute photos for our year end giving campaign.  Here are a few cute photos for my wonderful blog readers.

"You want me to put my hand in her mouth?  Nope."  Rose



Speaking of cute … have you see the really cute key chains that we make here in Swaziland and sell at www.khutsala.com?  This weekend we are offering 25% off all stocking stuffers (including our beautiful jewelry made with our own handmade SwaziMud ceramic beads).  Just use the promo code STOCKINGSTUFFERS and shop away!   If you want to see some of our 100+ artisans making the beadcraft check out this awesome video https://vimeo.com/238577273.


Every dollar you spend helps us support the 175 children living at Project Canaan.  Yesterday we received 18-hour-old baby “Helen” to the family.  She might be the cutest part of this whole blog.


Thank you for thinking of us as you prepare Christmas for your family and friends. 

Live from Swaziland … 19 more days until Spencer and Chloe come home!!

Janine

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A bitter sweet day for me, and a gift for you.



Thursday was a really hard day.  We were asked to bring a 6-day-old baby boy to Project Canaan whose mother died two days after his birth.  The boy was born on the floor of a stick and mud house where his young mom lived with her parents and 13 other people. The baby’s father is nowhere to be found, his family is very poor and there is no food, no clothes, no diapers and now, a mountain of grief and sorrow.    They have no money to bury their daughter, so are trying to borrow funds and bury here next week.  I took the 5+ pound baby from a distraught Grandmother who knew the boy how had a chance at life and a future.

Thursday was bitter sweet. The sadness of the family was bitter, but bringing the newborn baby back to Project Canaan, while our whole big family was celebrating US Thanksgiving (complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy!) was nothing but sweet.

Today is a new day and it’s the beginning of the Christmas season.  We celebrated here with our annual Project Canaan Academy Christmas pageant, and it was magical.  The children performed beautifully and the true meaning of the Christmas season was celebrated.


As you sit and read this blog today then move on to some online shopping I ask that you please start your shopping at www.khutsala.com.  We have 110+ workers who have worked all year to have product on our website and are depending people like you to buy their goods.  The handcrafted jewelry and beadwork is beautiful and very high quality.

As a special gift to YOU for being loyal blog readers, I am offering you a 50% OFF discount for everything at www.khutsala.com (excluding tree ornaments) by entering the code JANINESBLOG. This offer is from today until Monday only.



PLEASE shop today and help us care for our 174 babies PLUS the 100+ Khutsala artisans.

Christmas with children is wonderful and I am thankful to have 176 to celebrate with.

Live from Swaziland … praying that you will shop www.khutsala.com.

Janine

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Cancer sucks.



Tomorrow is my 54th birthday.

Two days ago our friend Sharon died, the day after her 54th birthday.

In June 2016 Sharon McGill and her family were with us in Swaziland.  They sat with us at our fireplace and enjoyed a Swazi sunset, they built the playground at our Emseni Campus, and they enjoyed playing with our children. 

 

Six months later Sharon was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, sought treatment and was thought to be in remission.  Then there was the “potato-like” lump on her hip in September. I laughed and told her that I also have lumps on my hips that are from potatoes. 

And suddenly she is gone.

Sharon and her husband Terry are dorm parents at Morrison Academy in Taiwan where Chloe went to high school.  That is where we met them and became friends.  They are missionary kids themselves and in fact were students at Morrison Academy when they were teenagers, and then were married for 27 years.  Their lives are parallel to Ian and my lives in many ways. Ian and I also went to high school together, we have been married 26 years, we are both called in ministry to care for other people's children and of course there’s the 54th birthday.  I will eat cake. She couldn’t. 

Death is a strange creature.  We are all going to die. No one escapes that.  And yet the pain that comes with it feels like having open-heart surgery without any anesthetic.  As followers of Jesus we believe that Sharon is completely healed and is in heaven with those that have gone on before.  We also believe that in a blink of an eye we will see her, and all of our loved ones again.  But in the meantime, the pain is unbearable for loved ones left behind.

And then there are the hospital bills.  The McGills are from Taiwan. Through a series of events Sharon ended up in an ICU room in a hospital in San Diego.  They don’t have US insurance, and the bills are staggering.  Then there is the travel back to Taiwan.  My head spins at the complexity and I find myself shouting “this not fair God!”

When I was a little girl and was upset about something that I didn’t like I would say to my mom, “That’s not fair!”.  And my mom would always respond, “Life is not fair.”  I found no solace in that, nor was she trying to give me any. She was just stating a fact.

Life is not fair.  Cancer sucks.

I am writing today with a birthday wish.  Would you please pray for Terry, their boys and the HUGE family who is mourning this tragic loss.  But also, will you take a further step and help relieve the pressure of the hospital bill so that the McGill family can mourn their loss in peace?  Please go to https://www.youcaring.com/sharonmcgill-1006441 and give now.


Terry wrote a beautiful blog during these last few weeks and yesterday he ended it with these words, “We are grieving and we will continue to.  We will simultaneously grab hold of all the joy in life that God gives us and we will carry on.” ( http://carinforsharon.blogspot.com/ )

Live from Swaziland … "Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted."  Matthew 5:4

Janine

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Beautiful things out of dust





Many of you have heard the song called “Beautiful Things” by Gungor.  Yesterday the song was brought to life to me in a new way, and I saw the hand of God in a new and mighty way.  It was at the Project Canaan Academy Talent Show that took place at the Oasis on Project Canaan.

Some children sang, others danced, and then there was Rose.  Rose is our eldest (almost 7-years-old) and her talent was performance art.  Rose proceeded to paint using white glue on a white paper, so no one could see what she was painting.  As the music played out “You make beautiful things out of the dust”, Rose blew glitter dust on to her invisible painting and magically, a beautiful flower appeared.

Our Rose is a beautiful girl, named after a beautiful flower. She was found as a baby, sitting in the dirt outside of a stick and mud hut many years ago. She and her twin brother had been left by their mother and stayed in that dust for more than 48-hours until the homeowner arrived home.  Social welfare placed them with us and now Project Canaan is home.

Rose was severely malnourished when she arrived at 18-months-old.



As I sat and watched Rose, I wept. God makes beautiful things out of the dust.  That truth is real, and that truth was right in front of me.

I hope you are blessed by this simple, yet powerful thought.

Thank you Amber and Melissa for making this all possible.  

And here is a bonus video to make your Saturday happy. Our Kindergarten class dancing to a little JT!

Live from Swaziland … happy Saturday.

Janine


For those of you who are not familiar with the song "Beautiful Things", here is the YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1spkhp41ig4  and here are the lyrics.

"Beautiful Things"
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Saturday, November 4, 2017

What I know for sure

Ben feeding Wendy
Whenever I pick up an “O” Magazine I always read the last page first. It’s a personally written summary of what is on Oprah’s mind that month.

Here is what I know for sure today.  Home is where the heart is, and my heart is here in Swaziland.  This is my home.

After being away for 25 days I spent most of my week hanging out with our children and children’s home staff. It is where I am refueled, rejuvenated and where my heart fills up very quickly.

I watched our big kids playing with and helping out with our babies and it brought me joy. 

I saw little ones learning how to sit at a small table and feed themselves as they prepare to move to the toddler home and it brought me hope.



Lillian
I was able to help save the life of a 6-week-old baby who was starving to death in a one-room home with an old Gogo who had nothing to give the baby except her love and I was able to show love.


And I sat on the patio of our home and watched the sun go down over the recently plowed and planted fields of Project Canaan and felt peace.


What I also know for sure is that obedience precedes understanding, and I am so thankful that we were obedient.  There is no place that I would rather be than on our mountain top in the tiny Kingdom of Swaziland.

Live from Swaziland … life is good (not easy, but good).

Janine

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A former assassin, a suicide bomber and a few Christians

What a wonderful welcome home!!
Today we arrived home to Swaziland after 25 days away.  In the past month we have seen the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.  We were on 14 flights landing in 8 countries on 3 continents.  We have been blessed beyond our wildest imaginations in seeing friends, family and the wonders of God’s creation.

Just sitting on the Mediterranean coast.
This past week we attended a conference in North Africa.  Due to the nature and location of the conference I will leave most of the details out, but I do want to share a bit about it because we were in a Muslim country where early Christians were imprisoned and then fed to the lions as entertainment for the locals, and Christians who have converted from Islam today are ostracized by their friends and family because they have become infidels.

In the midst of this eye-opening and informative week we met two incredible men of God.  One is a former assassin for the late PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, his name is Tass Saada, and his books are a “must read”.  The other is a man who was raised in an extremist Islam school and as a teenager was training/preparing to be a suicide bomber.  I won’t share his name or photo publicly. Both of them had personal encounters with Jesus, which lead to their conversion, at great personal risk.  Both of them had a profound impact on my life.


I wept as I stood and heard each of them speak so openly and honestly about the hatred they had in their hearts when they were young, and how it all changed when Jesus was revealed to them.  These are men who had never cried in their lives until they felt the love of their heavenly father, and then “suddenly there was something running down their cheeks from their eyes”.

It was humbling and inspiring to learn about the “Spirit of Martyrdom” in the early church and what an honor it was to be martyred for the sake of Jesus.  All this while we stood in the very location that the bible was Canonized in 397 BC.  It was equally encouraging to hear people serving God all over the world share miraculous stories of healing and transformation in the ministries where they serve.  You would be surprised at what stories a former assassin, a suicide bomber and a few Christians can tell :)


This month has been a month of encouragement for us both. No matter where we were, or who we were with, words of love and encouragement were spoken over us.  What an incredible gift that was to us.

Today’s journey home from North Africa to Swaziland took us a total of 26-hours.  We are tired, but at the same time rested. As the expression goes, “A change is as good as a holiday.”  We are ready for a day of rest tomorrow and then to be back to work on Monday with our Project Canaan family.

Live from Swaziland … 33 of our “big kids” greeted us at the airport!!

Janine

Saturday, October 21, 2017

AMBER ALERT



When Ian and I landed in the US a couple of weeks ago we picked up a US “burner” phone - a pay-as-you go phone that allowed our kids and our US office to reach us while on American soil.  Within a few hours of activating the phone we received and “Amber Alert” ( https://www.amberalert.gov).  Suddenly our hearts sank and we got that sick feeling in our stomachs.  Who’s child has been gone missing?  Where is the child?  What is happening to that child now?

I remember when Chloe was 3-years-old and we were at Disney World there was a very loooooong five minutes that we couldn’t find her, which seemed like an eternity.  While trying not to panic, the worst fear(s) that I have ever experienced  erupted over my whole body like a volcano.  When we found her (not 15-feet away), I wept with relief and swore to never let her out of my sight again.

The reason I tell you this is that I am struggling with events that happened in Swaziland this past week.  Within three days, we received three baby boys.  One (estimated) 11-month-old was found by police crawling on the side of the road. One (estimated) 3-month-old was left in a “mushroom daycare” (see blog http://janinemaxwell.blogspot.com/2017/06/what-is-mushroom-daycare-you-might-not.html) and the third child (15-months-old) was found being cared for by his 5-year-old brother – their mother had been long gone. 

What happened to “Where is my child”???  HELP!  SOMEONE HELP ME FIND MY BABY!?

Child's face is blocked as the mother is still being sought by police. Those chubby cheeks are from malnutrition, not fat.
But no, three babies left alone in three different locations within three days. 

I am not writing in judgment of the mothers who abandoned theses babies, but I just can’t seem to reconcile it in my head and heart knowing the feeling that I felt in Georgia upon receiving the “Amber alert” for a child unknown to me personally.  What has to have happened to a woman to lose her motherly instinct to protect her child at all costs? What has to have happened to have a mother think that leaving her 11-month-old on the side of the road is better than keeping him with her?  We often hear it said that the moral fabric of Swazi society has unraveled, but this seems to be at a different level of darkness.

Thankfully El Roi, the God who sees, saw these three and rescued them from possible human predators, dogs, snakes, exposure, hunger and death.  Each of them has been placed with us through the Social Welfare department and each one has begun their individual journey to health and healing. 

And now, these children are our responsibility,  a total of 170 children, under the age of 7.  How did that happen?   Every now and then I look at Ian and say, “What were we thinking?”  And he reminds me that this was God’s plan, not our plan.  That is an understatement, and the truth.

It costs approximately $225/month for each and every child we care for. That is $2,700/year.  We have 81 full time staff caring for our children including day shift, night shift, cooks, cleaners and Supervisors.  We can’t do this without the support of people like you. Maybe today is the day that you will help support one of these three little boys who have been left by their own mothers.  Will you help us provide them with love, food, clothing and all the care they need?


 

Live from Morocco … we are having a wonderful holiday, but missing our children today.

Janine

PS - we named the little guy in the photo "Zacchaeus". He is the one found on the side of the road. Many of you will know of another Zacchaeus who was found on the side of the road, and saved. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

What did I see in their eyes?

Hand carved Zimbabwean statues for live auction.

I have been told that we make it look easy… this “missionary thing” … afterall, how hard could it be? Moving to Africa, abandoning your family, building a house, buying a car, opening a bank accounts (actually that one still hasn’t been possible), figuring out telecommunications, managing with slow-speed (expensive) internet, and doing it all in a local language that seems almost impossible to learn.  How hard could it be?

It’s hard. Really hard.  Nothing is as it appears to be. The people we trust betray us.  The safety that we feel is false-safety. Spencer and Chloe, and family, are far far away, and a host of people sit on the outside looking in, watching to see if we are doing things right or wrong.  But of course, they are not “judging”.

But nobody REALLY wants to hear about all that, so when asked how we are doing, we stick with “It’s all good”.  And really, it IS all good, except for the bad parts.

On Thursday we had wonderful evening with so many dear friends at a Gala event in Georgia that was designed to raise money for Heart for Africa. By all accounts, the golf tournament, dinner and silent auction were a huge success, raising over $100,000 to help us raise our 167 Swazi children.  As each familiar face arrived at the event I was encouraged by their presence, knowing that we really aren’t alone doing what we do.  Each one made an effort to come and see us, support us financially, and encouraged us to continue doing His work.

BIG thank you to former Board Chairman, Rick Bishop, for hosting the successful golf tournament again this year.

Congratulations to Rod McLure and team for winning the golf tournament.
We are celebrating five years living in Swaziland. FIVE YEARS!  How could it be five years when it feels like we are still finding our way around?  During the event the Chairman of our Board of Directors, Chad Gregory, asked us what the biggest change was in the five years since we moved to Swaziland. I responded with “weight gain”, but alas that was not really the answer he was looking for :). 

I went on to share that the biggest change is trying to get our heads around being the mother and father to a rapidly growing family.  Without even thinking about it I found myself sharing the challenges (and fears) of raising children who have HIV/AIDS (making sure they get their life-saving medication twice a day) and tuberculosis (keeping them in isolation until they are no longer contagious).  Then there are the many children who are on special diets to help them “catch up” on their weight, after suffering from extreme malnutrition and neglect, and then there are the ones who arrive with broken bones who need immediate care, and the ones who were dumped in outdoor toilets (pit latrines) and arrive with head trauma/lung infections and even burns.

I choked up while talking about our little girl named Phephile, who came to us with a broken tibia and fibia along with signs of 6-7 historic breaks in her arm, I looked out across the room and saw many tears in many eyes. What did I see in those eyes? They were the eyes of people who love us, who care about those children, and who are asking themselves how they can do more to help Heart for Africa?
Thank you Jeremy and Raelenna Ferguson for traveling from Missouri to show their love and support.
Those are our friends who “get it” and they were there that night to REMIND me/us that they “get it” and that they want to help.  No sitting on the sidelines.  They were there to encourage us, and hug us, laugh with us, and cry with us and remind us that even on our darkest days when it feels like we are all alone, we are not alone.  They are with us in spirit and in prayer.  I got a huge boost of energy from their smiles (and tears), which rejuvenated me and encouraged me to take on another day.

Taylor and Sandra Green always volunteer and attend our fundraising events. Thank you Green family for your love and support
Yesterday we flew to the west coast of Canada and will attend the “Celebrate HOPE” in British Columbia tonight with more friends and family who are truly committed to supporting us.

I have no doubt that today’s blog will be my least read and least shared because there is no drama or craziness in it, but that's okay. I wanted to make sure that I took the time to let you know that I am thankful for each and every one of you and I pray for you and give thanks to the Lord for your lives.

Live from Vancouver … today is going to be a very busy day of meeting, but it will also be fun.

Janine  
Special thank you to Chris Cheek for all her work making this event a huge success and for her son Joey to be serving by her side.  We are thankful for this special family.

PS – we have THE MOST AMAZING US staff/Board and volunteer team at Heart for Africa. Thank you all for making Thursday night magical for us all.