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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.

The farm:

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. 

Baby Isaac
Baby Rahab
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.

Community Work:

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 :)

Live from Swaziland … I am thankful.



  1. WHEW!!!! God is GREAT! Your project is a continuing MIRACLE! He knew what He was doing when he picked Ian and Janine Maxwell...

  2. Wow...great update on all that God is doing there! So, so thankful for God's hand of blessing on Project Canaan!!


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