|Home made burgers with Geneele and Archie Crenshaw, along with David Bryant and Spencer.|
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Babies found in the garbage is my "new norm"
The past three weeks have been a whirlwind! I left Swaziland on May 2nd and returned May 22nd and have yet to re-acclimate. I remember my first few trips to Africa and how shocked I was at how different EVERYTHING was. The water wasn’t drinkable, the food was simple and sparse, the pace was slow, the plans always changed and the smells cannot be forgotten.
Then I would go back home to “normal”, to my home in Canada where the water was clean, the food abundant, the pace was fast, plans were stuck to and everyone smelled good.
It seems that I have a new normal, and that is a “Swazi-normal”, where the pace is slow, spending time relationally is important and where babies routinely get dumped in the garbage. That’s my “normal”, and I seemed to have gone through some reverse culture shock during my trip to the US that I am still trying to process.
Did you know that McDonald’s delivers now? In fact, it looked to me that all fast food chains deliver. Is it possible for people to be SO busy with life that they don’t even have time to drive thru a restaurant to get food?
Life in America is SO busy that even the ads on the radio and TV often referenced having a “busy life-style”. There is so much noise, so many distractions and so much “more” of everything imaginable that I found myself absolutely overwhelmed in the cracker aisle at Target.
While my head was spinning as I raced from meeting to meeting, meal to meal and presentation to presentation, I was overwhelmed by the response that people had to hearing about the challenges that we face. In the past I have heard people say, “Why are you helping in Africa when we have poor people in the US?” I didn’t hear that this time, because when I jump to the bottom line of so many babies being dumped in pit latrines (outdoor toilets) and Albino children being hunted so that they can be sacrificed … I only saw tears and empathy.
The great news is that not only did people cry with me, and pray with me, but they also stepped up and gave money to support our projects. Specifically, we were able to finish raising the funds to build the Emseni #4 building (a home for 40 children), but also to finish bringing the water down from the top of the mountain (an $850,000 project!), making Project Canaan “water secure”.
Yesterday was another “normal” and we got a newborn baby who was put in a plastic garbage bag and dumped in a dumpster (or dustbin as they call it here), only to be found by a passerby. The police took him to the hospital, social welfare has placed him with us and we have a new son. Project Canaan is now home to 190 children and getting an abandoned or abused baby every ten days is my new “norm”, and I am thankful.
While I sit and look out at the beautiful scenery from my mountaintop in Swaziland and try to get my mind, soul and spirit back in their proper places in my body, I can’t help but give thanks to the great provider for all that He is, all that He does, and all that He has given.
Thanks to each and every one of you who supports this ministry and all that we do to serve Him and His children.
Live from Swaziland … I am so glad to be home.