Saturday, January 28, 2017
We don't do this all on our own
Yesterday we were driving from Swaziland to South Africa to hop on a 16-hour flight to Atlanta. As we crossed the border, I quickly took a photo of a typical sight - a strong, powerful, African woman, carrying her unbelievable load. I didn’t consider for a minute that I would use it for today’s blog, but alas, it was the perfect image for today’s message.
I am in awe of my African sisters, Aunts, Mothers and Grandmothers. Their superhuman strength, their unmatchable endurance and their love is never-ending. And while African culture is one of living in community and sharing each others loads, we see that the AIDS pandemic, coupled with the drought, has left the majority of Swazi women carrying a big, big load on their own. There is no one left to help them.
Ian and I have had many people criticize us for going it “alone” on Project Canaan. We have also been accused of not being “qualified” to do our jobs. Those “nay-sayers” are always taken aback when we laugh and completely agree. If we had applied for these jobs/roles with our marketing/business resumes we would never have been considered. Instead, it was God who CALLED us to start the organization with the promise that HE would be with us and HE would give us “one page at a time”. This has not been an easy journey, but He has never failed us.
We cannot do this alone, nor do we want to.
Over the years we have been overwhelmed and astonished at WHO and WHEN the Lord sent experts in their fields to assist us. The list is so long that I will be forced to leave the lions share out, but a few key people include: Pete Wilkerson (landscape architect), Charles Mully (Kenyan advisor), Matt Marschall (Agri-business appraiser), Tom Daniel (land developer), Jere Scott (renaissance man, who kinda does it all), Annie Duguid (small/sick/abandoned baby expert from Uganda), and the list goes on and on.
Typically these people arrive before we even know that we need them, and then we are in awe again at the Lord’s provision.
This past week we were so blessed to welcome back, Annie Duguid from Uganda. Annie is an expert in early child developed and has personally rescued 1,080 Ugandan babies who would certainly have died. She volunteered to come from for 5-weeks in January 2012 to help get us set up, trained and prepared for the babies we knew were coming. The day before Annie was to fly home, Joshua arrived, and we all danced for joy. I was in the US when Annie called me and then I called Ian, who was on the top of Project Canaan with Pete Wilkerson, working on more land plans/water flow etc.
A month ago Annie messaged me to say that she had a week where she could come back and see how we were doing, and her timing was perfect. She was so happy to see that many of the systems that she had implemented (without babies in here) were still in place and effective. She was able to help us make improvements that will help with early childhood development and stimulation, and we were all overwhelmed (in a good way) with the knowledge that she shared with us. God is good, all the time. And His timing is perfect.
This next month we will have many more highly trained and qualified people coming to serve with us in the most extra-ordinary ways.
· Rick Cogbill and a team from Mercy Tech are coming for two months do vocational training in the areas of mechanics and welding for the third year.
· The Egg Farmers of Canada have a volunteer coming to help us “harvest” the first flock of 2,500 hens and clean and prepare the barn for the new flock arriving March 10th
· Northpoint Community church is sending a GlobalX team, lead by Hannah Gaddis, to continue teaching our Children’s Ministry team on how to teach our young children about Jesus. In addition they will educate our 31 church pastors in some children’s ministry techniques, that will be fun for all to see.
· Andrew Fisk from YWAM/EMERGE in Colorado, is an expert in Aquaponics. He will be coming for 2-weeks to start up and train us in the growing of fish and plants in a enclosed eco-system.
Last but not least, the Harp family is leaving us on Monday, after volunteering in Swaziland for the past 3-months. Barry is a CPA, who has been invaluable in creating systems at Khutsala, and Shelly’s heart for woman’s has been a blessing to all whom she has touched. Their boys loved our children and our children loved them back!
All this so say that it really does take a village to raise a child, and we are thankful for the global community who have come alongside us in the past and will come in the future. It's a wonderful living example of the body of Christ coming together with its many parts.
Live from Alpharetta, Georgia … it’s Saturday morning!