I can’t begin to put words to the happiness that I am feeling having Chloe home after 16-months apart. Just to hear her in the kitchen in the morning, or seeing her sit on the patio with the puppies makes my heart leap. Being able to go with her and our older kids to ride their bikes through zebras, impala and other African animals was simply the best. And to know that she will be here to celebrate Mother’s Day with me here for the first time in many years is the best gift of all.
Chloe was recently hired as the Marketing Coordinator for Heart for Africa (Canada), which is one of main reasons we were able to get her home at this time. She has spent the week with the marketing team from Heart for Africa US and it’s been really interesting to see her look at Project Canaan through a new lens – one of work rather than family.
Yesterday the team went out to do homestead visits so that the new marketers could experience rural Eswatini. Chloe has been to homesteads all over Africa since childhood, but this was the first time going as an adult woman, AND we sent six of our older children out with them. When she came home she was visibly shaken. For perhaps the first time she understood what it meant for a young girl to be at home with her father, brothers and other men in the family. She also had a deep understanding and awareness that our children might have been suffering like the children that she met had they not be placed with us through Social Welfare.
She sent me this photo of four 9-year-old boys, the two on the ends are ours, the two in the middle live at that homestead. Our boys are not unusually tall, but the difference between well fed children and children who often go without food was evident.
While everything she shared was interesting and insightful, it was her comments about our kids that brought me to tears … tears of joy. Our children have not been out to do community visits since January 2020, but they know that people are suffering from hunger because we talk about it frequently. Yesterday they got to see it firsthand, and it made them sad. When they were back in the van they shared that they were very sad to see Gogo cry, and to see how hungry the children were. What made them happy was being able to bring food and clothes and to see how happy the children were to put on their new-to-them clothes.
After presenting the food to the family they received a large pumpkin from the Gogo. Joshua said a very heartfelt “thank you” to the Gogo, she had a banana tree cut down to give them bananas because Joshua had been so sweet with his thanks. LOTS of tears, lots of proud moments.
These children are the future of this nation. They will lead with compassion and love. Whether they become farmers or nurses or teachers or caregivers, they will serve the Lord with all their heart, mind and body. I am eternally grateful for all of our incredible staff who do the "heavy lifting" in raising each child, and today I give a special word of thanks to our Lower Campus Manager, Khosie Mamba, and our Middle Campus Manager, Gcebile Shongwe-Dlamini, and ALL of the women who are mothers to our 286 children living on Project Canaan. May the Lord richly bless you today and every day.
I am a very proud mother of 288 children and can’t imagine my life without each and every one of them.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Live from Eswatini … I am thankful.