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Saturday, June 21, 2014

What ever happened to ...? (updates on people and projects).

Miriam's "Got Milk". Photo by Jacob Van Singel.
  It has been a relatively quiet and uneventful week (aside from a massive wind storm and fires) and I always try to be intentional during these times to stop and reflect on all the God has done and is doing here on Project Canaan and around the world.

I am thankful for each of you who read this blog faithfully and often contact me and as how this person is and that person is.  As I sat quietly today and walked around the farm in my mind, praying for each department or situation, I thought it might be a good blog to give you a few short updates on people and things that might be of interest.  I would ask that you join me in praying for each of these areas as well as you have a day of rest tomorrow.

Children’s Campus:  We have 35 babies living at the El Roi Baby Home now and 24 at the Labakhetsiwe toddler home. There are 10 living in the “tinies” room (which is full) and six “walkers” will be moving to the toddler home next week.    We received six new children in 18 days in the month of May, but no children thus far in June.  I often wonder if no more children will come to us, and then the phone rings again.  Elisha fell and hit his head yesterday requiring three stitches, but otherwise just the usual teething pain, runny noses and colds.

Baby Isaiah:  Brooke and Lori Marschall took Isaiah to South Africa last week to continue testing to see why he is not thriving (he is 8 months old and weighs less than 10 lbs).  The good news is that his heart is perfect, his brain is perfect and they couldn’t find any other problems (heart condition and hydrocephalus were both in question).  We have run almost every possible test on this little guy, but now we will take him back on Tuesday to see a Pediatric Gastroenterologist (again) and a Geneticist.  His mother was a severely disabled (and deaf and mute) woman who has been in a wheelchair since birth. She was raped by a family member, gave birth at home and Isaiah ended up in the hospital a week after birth.  We pray life for this sweet little boy.

Emseni East:  The land for the new Emseni East children’s home and Oasis kitchen has been cleared and we expect to break ground on construction next week.  We have hit 65% of our fundraising goal, thanks to people like you buying $25 blocks for family and friends.  Thank you to all who have given and/or plan to support this important building project. 

Project Canaan Academy:  The Kindergarten construction is well underway, thanks to the ladies at the US Bank for their funding and support.  They are busy filling a 40ft container with furniture and supplies for the Kindergarten.  Pam Joseph (Vice Chairman of US Bank) and her Executive team will come over in October to unload the container and get the school set up and ready for a January opening. Also, we are now accepting applications for a Preschool teacher starting January 2015.  

Khutsala Artisans:  The ladies are busy making jewelry to sell during the fall/Christmas season back in the US and Canada.  We are also getting ready to reveal our new Christmas ornament for 2014.  Stay tuned for that one.  Feel free to shop today at

Sicalo Lesisha Kibbutz:  We welcomed a new woman at the Kibbutz in the past couple of weeks.  She was literally picked up on the side of the road by one of our team members when she, and her 18-month old child, were being chased by a man who was beating her as she ran across the road.  Her boyfriend had just been released from prison for abusing her in the past and now he was out.  We welcome her and her son to Project Canaan.

Nomsa:  Nomsa (Gcebile) is settling in well at the Kibbutz.  She is still very weak and struggles to walk, but is still determined to live and takes her medication religiously. She went to the hospital this week and they gave her another 8-10 pills to take each day calling them “supplements”.  The biggest challenge is getting her to eat regularly, but we have a large team of people who visit her often and encourage her to eat and get strong.

El Rofi Medical Centre:  A 40 ft container of equipment and supplies arrived two weeks ago thanks to Cardinal Health and Giving Children Hope.   We have hired a nurse from Zimbabwe who will live on the farm and work at the medical centre Monday-Friday and she will work closely with Brooke and Dr. & Dr. Lemmer who will officially be responsible for the clinic. We will open the doors on July 7th and have a Grand Opening Celebration on July 16th when our large volunteer team is here.

Dam #2 – Rotary International: We started construction on the dam a few weeks ago, and now we must build a small building to install a holding tank for fuel so that the big machines don’t have to drive out to the gas station each day.  We were thankful to have visitors from our partner club here in Swaziland visit on Thursday and surprised to hear them on the radio and television the very next day singing the praises of Project Canaan and all that we are doing here.  What a lovely surprise and wonderful encouragement to all who work here and heard the news reports.

The Farm:  The farm looks great and the crops are rotating so that we always have fresh vegetables being picked.  We have a standing order with TexRay (a Taiwanese textile company in Matsapah) for 160 lbs of fresh vegetables every week and all other vegetables get sold to a local exporter.  Of course the children get farm fresh veggies every day to help provide nutritious meals to help them grow.

The Dairy: We’ve got milk!  And Chad pasteurizes it several times a week then makes all the yoghurt and cheese that we use at the Children’s Campus.  Yum, is all I can really say.

Sunday Worship:  Children’s Church is now happening at 9AM outside at the back of the baby home and all the children and Aunties attend, as well as those who just love worshiping with the little ones. It is a magical place to be and the feeling of peace and joy during our time with them is unexplainable. We are using the Children’s Program from Northpoint Community Church and starting at the beginning – Genesis and that “God created”. It is simply awesome. There is a Swazi service, in siSwati, at the chapel at 10AM and it is filled with Swazi music, dance and a message in siSwati.

The Maxwell’s:  We are in a good place right now.  Chloe is home for the summer (our winter) and it is wonderful to have her here.  She turns 18-years old on July 5th so we have a trip to Cape Town planned to celebrate with her.  We have never been there so are excited to visit a most gloriously beautiful city.  Work is always in front of us and there is always so much to do, but as I type this, Ian and Chloe are enjoying “Lord of the Rings” and we will have a social visit with the Klees and Lori Marschall later today.  God is good.

That is my update for today. If I have missed someone or a project you want to know about, please feel free to message me and I will give you an update.

Live from Swaziland … this is a peaceful day.


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