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Saturday, April 15, 2017

These children are an oasis to my soul.



On Thursday night there was a gathering of our staff and volunteers up at the dining hall that we call “The Oasis”.  It was named The Oasis because it is where we go to be fed and watered and where life is given to everyone who visits. Thursday night we gathered for Holy Communion, and again, received the gift of life. 

The room was dimly lit and at the front of the stage was a wooden cross, handmade by our maintenance team.  In front of it was a wooden Nigerian bed (random information), which held the elements that we would consume. From the back of the room a beautiful Swazi voice started singing, the others rose up to join in harmony to make sounds seem like they must be coming from heaven itself.  

The warmth of the evening, the darkness of the room and the sounds of African voices immediately took me back to a time where I was at the Mully Children’s home in Eldoret, Kenya.  It was bedtime and the young children gathered for a time of song and prayer.  When they started to sing, I was swept up by the power of the small voices that joined together to make a sound that sent shivers up my spine and tears down my cheeks.

So often people thank me for “saving” the children of Swaziland, and I am quick to point out that it is not me who is saving anyone, but it is God who has brought us in to this role, and so many others who provide support for the children.

But it was in the sounds of African voices on Thursday night, with tears pouring down my cheeks once again, that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this work is NOT my work or Ian’s work, it is only God’s work.   This work, or calling, is impossible.  The number of children is growing (we have 155 children as of today), the scope of the farm is expanding, the responsibility that we have for the children, our staff of 280+ people and our 16+ volunteers is immense, and it is overwhelming and impossible without God.

Tomorrow is Easter and our children have been preparing for this for weeks.  Even at their young age, they will perform a play with the entire Easter story (including the death on the cross and the resurrection).  
Last week's play showing Jesus arriving in Jerusalem on a donkey.
Easter in at Project Canaan is not about Easter bunnies, Easter eggs or a large display of chocolate. Swazi’s teach their children, at a very young age, about the bloody death and glorious resurrection of Jesus.   Our children will eat special eggs for breakfast, will have a braai (lots of grilled meat) for dinner and baked goodies during the day.   They will sing “Hosanna Hosanna”, jump up and down being silly and will undoubtedly bring joy to any and all who are with them.  



The children are themselves an oasis to my soul. 

Tomorrow is the most exciting day of the whole year, and I am eternally grateful that I have been chosen to be a small part in a very big story of salvation, transformation and life.

Happy Easter from our family to yours.

Live from Swaziland… He has risen indeed.

Janine

PS - If you believe in what we are doing and want to help, we really are in need of financial assistance at this time for our children.  If you can give on a monthly basis or even make a one time donation today, we would very much appreciate it.  Thank you.

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