On May 31st, 2012 the Maxwell family boarded a plane and moved to eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) to live at Project Canaan. I hope to update my blog on Saturday mornings and share, as honestly as I can, the highs and lows of our life in Africa. We are living on a farm in a remote part of this tiny Kingdom and are serving the community as well as the orphans and vulnerable children of the nation. Thanks for joining us.
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Saturday, May 18, 2013
Momentum at Project Canaan
It is exciting to see the momentum of what is happening at
Project Canaan.Everywhere I look
I see growth, development, building and lots of smiles.Yesterday Ian and I took a
drive on 4-wheelers around the farm to do some planning and new building
placement.Even though we see it
every day, we were amazed at what we saw.Let me give you a quick update.
Rains continue to fall and dams are full.Our goal was to be able to irrigate 15
acres during the dry season, but because of the rains we are increasing that to
25 acres.We are growing cabbage, tomatoes, spinach, squash, potatoes,
sugar beans and we sell our vegetables in local retail stores and roadside
markets.Soon we will be using the
ISO Building for packaging the vegetables and will be selling them with the
Project Canaan Produce logo. I can’t wait to see them in the store!We planted 100 banana trees and a few
dozen Papaya trees.The goat
population has grown to 100+ and we have five cows now on the property.
The Lusito Mechanic Shop is operating well and the team is
proactively working on maintaining all vehicles and buildings.They also are welding and have built
the sorting tables for the ISO Building.
The construction team is on a roll.They just finished the Sisekelo
Preschool and are now putting the roof on the Labakhetsiwe Toddler home.We hope to move our toddlers to that
home by early September.The Manna
Distribution Center (which will be home to our TOMS Shoes, Manna Packs, rice
and other community distribution items) is complete and just needs shelving,
which is being built at the Kufundza Center.I will proudly add that the Kufundza Center also just
completed four new double cribs for the baby home and is making all of the
cabinetry for the Moringa Guest House.
Toddler home front left, Preschool at back, Baby home on right.
A home for our El Roi Manager and Construction Manager
(Helen and Peter Muli) is underway and we expect to have it completed before
Baby #2 arrives around July 11th.We have laid the foundation for the Khutsala Artisans Shop,
which will be a place of training and production of handcrafts, and the
concrete floor will be poured next week.
We have begun clearing the land for Dam #3 and the surveying
will be finished in the next two weeks.We plan to have this very large dam completed before the next rainy
season in November.
Yesterday we chose the location of the Sicalo Lesisha
Kibbutz for women as well as a soccer field for our children and workers to
play “football”.We hope to start
clearing both of those places in the near future.The plans for the El Rofi Medical Clinic are almost complete
and architectural drawings are next on the list.
El Roi Baby Home:
This week we welcomed two more little lives. Isaac and Rahab
joined the family and we now have 31 children living at El Roi.The office was moved out and new cribs
moved in.Isaac is a healthy baby
boy, but Rahab is a very malnourished little girl. Isaac was born May 10th
and Rahab March 14th, but they both weigh the same (5.3
pounds).On another note, we are
thankful that we were able to move the burned child to a private hospital and
he had skin grafting done yesterday. We pray that he will heal quickly and then
will move home to El Roi in a couple of weeks.
We have sad news about baby Grace.We have been told that her blindness is total and
permanent.In addition she has
Cerebral Palsy and serious brain problems – none life threatening, but she will
need special care as she grows.We
are thankful that she has come to us.
We are now providing 74,000 hot meals each month to orphans
and vulnerable children in the communities surrounding our partner
churches.We are preparing to give
new TOMS Shoes to the children at these churches on our June and July trips and
can use lots of volunteers to assist with this.
It is overwhelming (in a good way) to see the hand of God at
work here in Swaziland.There is
momentum and we know that it is His momentum, not our own.Last month 129 people were employed on
the farm, in construction and at the Baby Home at Project Canaan.In a country with a 70% unemployment
rate we are thankful to be able to provide jobs and an income, which in turn is
benefiting 1,600+ people in our surrounding community.
Thank you for your ongoing support, encouragement and
prayers and for reading this blog :)