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Saturday, August 25, 2018

How do you fill your "joy-bucket"? Be sure to watch the video at the end.

Yesterday we were honored to welcome a large team from the Deputy Prime Ministers office for a visit.  The Director of Social Welfare, the Deputy Director of Social Welfare and dozens of social welfare officers from around the country came to tour Project Canaan and enjoy a delicious lunch. Our kitchen team had goats slaughtered on the farm, spinach harvested from the greenhouse and eggs picked from the barn to prepare for the meal. We even make our own mayonnaise for the deviled eggs (known as egg-mayo here). 

We now have 196 children who have been placed with us through those very Social Welfare Officers, and it was wonderful to see their joy and amazement when they got to see the children that they had placed in to our care.

I cannot say enough about these people who SEE IT ALL.  We have received children who have been burned by their own parents, have had arm/leg/skull fractures at the hands of relatives, been dumped in pit latrines (outhouses), strangled and put in a garbage can, dumped in the river, put in a plastic bag and hung in a tree, left on the side of a busy road, left at a bus stop, or even abandoned in the hospital after birth.  Every one of our 196 children come with a horrific and unbelievable story, but they are some of the ones that the Social Welfare Officers were able to help.  There are many more children that they can’t help, and they are heartbroken.

Day after day they hear stories of abuse, starvation, abandonment, rape, pain and suffering, but often all they can do is council and console the person who is telling the story.  The toll that it takes on them immense and I often wonder how they do their jobs day after day without crumbling.

But yesterday they came to have their “joy-buckets” replenished and I believe that they were hopeful when they saw our/their children singing and dancing with restored bodies, minds and hearts. 

At the end of lunch, Pastor Nate Ferguson gave them a word of encouragement and then our children gave a full performance with poems, song and dance.  It was magical and our guests cheered over and over again, sometimes jumping up to join in the singing and dancing.  At the end there was a spontaneous eruption of dance that brought joy to my heart and I knew that if for only a brief moment in time, these people who work so hard for so many, were happy and filled with joy.

Some days are harder than others, but yesterday was a GREAT day and my “joy-bucket” was also filled to over-flowing.  How do you fill your "joy-bucket"?

Please join me in praying for the Social Welfare Department of eSwatini and its leaders. Let us pray for courage and strength to endure and that their joy-bucket will remain full.

Live from Swaziland … taking it easy today.



  1. Wow Janine, this is so amazing. God is really good.Looking back at where you coming from as Project Canaan indeed there is hope for the children.May our Lord continue to bless you.

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