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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Drought + storm + power-outages + 105 babies =

Over the past two weeks I have been praying and asked the Lord to turn down the heat a bit on our lives. I wasn’t speaking about temperature, but rather I was asking Him to turn down the crises, tragedies and human suffering that we have been dealing with so much.   I believe He answered my prayers and I have had some quieter days and even got a beautiful newborn baby boy on Friday, which brought me great joy. His name is Barak, which means "lightening". We thought that was appropriate based on the rest of the week... keep reading.

While turning down the “injustice” temperature a bit, He turned up the environmental heat to 100F+ for many days with intense humidity.  We don’t have air conditioning here on Project Canaan, and we all depend on ceiling fans and ice in our water to cool down.  We use sprinklers and small kiddie pools to cool down our children and leave the ceiling fans on high at night when they/we sleep.

This week the temperatures hit 105F+ (Swaziland was the second hottest place on earth on Thursday according to the newspaper), the rain started to fall and the power went off.  There are a few reasons why our power goes off 3-4 times a week.  Sometimes it’s South Africa (where our power comes from) who turns it off to help “load share” for their own power-shortage issues.  Sometimes it's a line that breaks due to a storm, and sometime it just goes off, seemingly for no reason.

This week the rains we have be praying for came, which was awesome.  The rains came and the electricity left.  First it was off then on, then off then on and then off. And it stayed off for almost 30 hours.  But the beautiful rain kept falling.

Imagine having 104 babies to care for when the power goes out.   It’s pitch black so you are working with portable flashlight type things and worse, the fans would not spin and the children were crying from the dark and the extreme heat (and I wanted to, but tried to refrain).  When the power goes out, so does our water purification system so all the water then needs to be boiled in order to drink it.  I want to stop and give thanks for ALL of our Caregivers who handle these situations with such grace and love.  They are truly amazing women and men.

It was the hottest night of my whole life and we didn’t sleep a wink.  The next day everything in everyone’s refrigerators and freezers started to melt and by sundown the next day the walk in freezer (full with a new order of chicken) was melting. Then I got a call from a neighbor at the nearby golf club who saw my whining on Facebook and offered her bunker freezer to help us out. What a gift that was at the right time.  Anthony and Denis loaded up the chicken and rushed it over.

Later that night the power did come back on (and off and on and off) and then stayed on. This small town girl from Northern Ontario, where it’s minus 40 degrees for weeks on end in the winter, was NEVER so thankful for a simple ceiling fan to come back on. 

We have looked at alternative energy sources and are working on a plan to get a large generator that will cover the Children’s Campus when the power goes out, but for now, we pray, and we give thanks for the rain, and the roof over our heads that doesn’t leak and that we are not living on mud floors that turn to muck when the rains come.

To answer many of you who are asking if the dams are filling. The answer is, not yet.  Our experience is that we need about 30 days of this kind of rain for the dams to start filling. The dams aren’t directly filled by rain, but rather it’s the rainwater that flows down from the mountains that fills them.  There has to be enough rain to saturate the ground up the mountain and only then does it start flowing down the mountain in to our dams.  So, we continue to pray for lots of rain.  The good news is that we do believe the ground is wet enough in the maize fields that we can go ahead and plant our maize crop next week.  

In other news, Friday was our first Kindergarten graduation at the Project Canaan Academy! Teacher Amber did a wonderful job (as always) and 4 Kindergarten students will go to Grade One next year and six Preschoolers will move up to Pre-Kindergarten.  We are so proud of them all.

We will miss Isaac Flentge next year as he moves back to the US tomorrow.
Preschool moving up to Pre-Kindergarten in February.
Giving thanks for rain, and electricity, and ice for my water to cool me down.

Live from Swaziland... Jesus bring the rain (and keep the electricity on please!).


PS – please consider giving a year-end giving gift to Heart for Africa to help us help the people of Swaziland and 105 children. Thank you.

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