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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Encouragement for you in 2016.

First fireworks for the Emseni Children at Project Canaan.

Since moving to Swaziland our family holiday tradition includes spending a few days on the beach at the Indian Ocean in Durban, South Africa.  The sound of the surf, the never-ending blue water and the private time with family is medicine for my soul.


As I watched Ian, Spencer and Chloe play Cribbage by the pool, I was contemplating what I would write in today’s blog. I wanted to write something that would encourage you in 2016 and I felt the best way to do that was with scripture.  First I was going to include Psalm 19, talking about the heavens declaring the glory of the Lord and include a photo of our big kids watching their first fireworks on New Years Eve.


Then I thought instead to give you the Message bible translation of Matthew 25:31-46, the story of the sheep and the goats, which reminds each of us of the importance of caring for other people in need. 


But in the end, I landed on another favorite promise from God – Isaiah 58:6-9, which reads:


“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
  to break the chains of injustice,
    get rid of exploitation in the workplace,

    free the oppressed, cancel debts.

What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
    sharing your food with the hungry,
    inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
    putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,

    being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on,
    and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.

    The God of glory will secure your passage.

Then when you pray, God will answer.
    You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’"


Isn't that cool? When we call for help, God will say, "Here I am."  He is always with us.  He will never leave us nor forsake us, even if our parents abandon us or someone else lets us down. He is ALWAYS there and His plans are good.

I hope you are encouraged by this amazing promise, and that you might take the time to look up the other two scriptures over the holiday season.

May the Lord bless you and give you His perfect peace and joy in 2016.

Happy New Year from the Maxwell family and the children of Project Canaan.

Live from South Africa … I am thankful for Ian, Spencer and Chloe, who love the little ones as much as I do and happily spend their Christmas and New Year's holiday with them.


"The heavens declare the glory of the Lord."

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