Sign up to receive this blog by email

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Is it time?

This is Rejoice!  What a great Christmas name she has?

I have been thinking about what to write in today’s blog for about two hours.  That is unusual for me because I can usually sit down and write a story in about 20 minutes, get it posted and be on my way.  But not today.

I feel that I don’t really have anything else to say that hasn’t been said already.  And I wonder if it’s time to stop writing this weekly blog.  I am not depressed or sad or anything, I just wonder if it is time? I have written 361 blogs that have been read 663,871 times in the past 7.5 years.

You, the reader, have read many times about babies dumped in pit latrines, burned babies, HIV/AIDS, and the dreaded Tuberculosis. You have read about drought, weather patterns, the joys, sorrows and frustrations of living in Africa.  You have read personal things about our family and personal things about others, masked by a change of name and a blocked out face.

How much more of this could you possibly want to read?  How much more sadness and sorrow do you want to experience from a million miles away?  How many more babies stories do you need to read before you stop reading or start to get involved and help?

As we approach Christmas I see the season through a totally different lens than I used to.  In my marketing days I would be out buying shopping for hundreds of gifts for clients, staff, neighbors, friends and family. I would be planning a fun and crazy staff party followed by a more formal party at our house.  Christmas day would be filled with food, family, presents and a table surrounded by family and friends.

This year’s Christmas shopping comprised of going to another country (South Africa) to buy vaccines that are not available in eSwatini (MMR, Tetanus, Chicken Pox and Hepatitis A - it turns out that Hepatitis A will not be available here until 2020!).  We bought probiotics, Children’s liquid iron and special diaper cream.  We also bought sour cream and bacon, which are almost never available in eSwatini during the month of December (random right?).  We shopped for pajamas for our small babies and glow sticks for our big children for a Christmas party, and snuck in a meal at McDonald’s since we don’t have one in the country we live in.

Bottom line – I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I am thankful for the journey that the Lord has us on, and wouldn’t want to change a thing, other than seeing Chloe and Spencer more often, but God has a plan for their lives too, and I am grateful for that knowledge and affirmation.

This is King - a child of the King of Kings.  Just had to add a photo of his sweetness.
Today Chloe arrives from Canada for Christmas and we can’t wait to see her.  She just called from her layover in Ethiopia and will be home tonight.  Spencer arrives on December 22nd from Barcelona and my nest will be full again.  I am so proud of both of our children for not only surviving, but thriving in the unknown world of their parents moving to Africa (and becoming parents to 217 Swazi children).  The road has not been an easy one for them to travel, but they have done it with grace, dignity and love, and today, they are our biggest supporters.  I can’t thank them enough, because their love and support help me through the darkest days.

If you think I should continue with this weekly blog, please feel free to leave a note in the comments and tell me what you would like me to write about, or what you would like to know more about.

Live from eSwatini … welcome home Chloe!



  1. I love hearing the stories of how individual children are thriving. Pictures are wonderful too!! Maybe you could feature a child and an auntie each week? I'd love to hear more about the caregivers, while still keeping the primary focus on the kids.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement and thoughts. Most of our staff would prefer that we not share anything about them publicly. I will continue to add more photos :)

  2. Honestly I love to read how you are doing and what is new or just on your mind in any given week. I see the pictures of the kids on their birthdays during the week or see the newest fundraising effort in pictures with a blurb at the bottom. But, I look forward to starting each weekend with a more indepth story about the good and the bad that is life for you and the whole of Project Canaan.

  3. I love your blog because it helps me stay connected with what’s going on. It helps me pray and ponder what God’s plan for ME is.

  4. I love your weekly blog! It keeps us connected to what is going in and gives me specific things to pray for! Merry Christmas to you all!!

  5. Janine, as you know I start my Saturday mornings each week with a cup of coffee and reading your blog. Some weeks the read is hard and other weeks it puts a smile on my face but I wouldn’t trade any one week for the other. I love being able to hear everything that is going on and more importantly it also allows me to share it with others. If my sharing can help bring even one or two more supporters each year then it is worth it. We have been there for each other through many good and bad times and I want to continue that for many years to come. Thank you for your friendship and for your dedication to all those you serve. Big hugs and much love!

  6. I read your blog first thing before I even get out of bed each Saturday morning. I understand wondering if it's "worth it" - but for me it's a way to remain connected, aware, and reminded of the needs, the joys, the sorrows, and the sacrifice. Those reminders are helpful to sharing your story with others!

  7. Many people including me love reading your blogs. When you are happy, we are; when you are sad, we are. Today’s blog made me feel happy for you that your best will be full again! As a mother, grandmother, I share your emotions! Merry Christmas Janine!

  8. Your sharing and being vulnerable gives everyone a look into what life is really like. So many people in the world go about their business in ignorant bliss (or they don’t like to hear about sad hard things), but some of what you write is real life for many in the world. On the other hand, it’s so wonderful to see the joy on your beautiful sons and daughters faces. Much love and prayers, Michelle Sefton

  9. Do continue. Featuring different caregivers and children is a great idea but do continue with what is on your heart.

  10. Please continue the blog! These are constant reminders to people who are "busy" with first world problems that need a reality check. I would love to hear about your children who have come the furthest with their physical or emotion challenges. I would like to hear about how you plan so thoroughly and and so far into the future for you children's needs (physically, emotionally, academically, etc). Do you have a team that brainstorms for this? Do you have a set time that you devote to planning these issues? Do some issues just present themselves and you move forward when the thought strikes you? How do you organize your planning these things? How are the security issues going? I see pictures of extreme poverty and pictures of grocery stores and KFC. How close together are these things? Are there people living in squalor within walking distance of these businesses? How many, if any, of the birth parents of your children have any contact with them?

  11. Your blogs have inspired, challenged and encouraged me so many times. I count it a blessing when you’re honest, vulnerable and share your life with us. I LOVE staying in touch and reading about your week. Love you.

  12. When I read your blog every week, it helps me feel connected to you, the kids, Project Canaan... everything. I like hearing about everything..the water project, the egg project, the water farming system, the kids, you, your family. Your everyday life is very different from mine. Hearing your stories reminds me that I am part of a very big world not just my little comfortable place here. You remind me that God uses regular people who are willing to be used. Please don't stop!! I will read any thing you put out there and forward it on to my friends!

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Hi Janine, We met at the farmer's market in Aurora - oh so many years ago - where you had a booth showcasing toys children had made from garbage from your recent mission trip. And look what you have done since then!!! Your blog has been so helpful to stay connected to your journey.
    My girls and I have hosted a "Shop With Meaning" party every Dec since then to try to help you. It started with selling your jewelry and now has expanded to selling crafts that neighourhood moms/kids make and a silent auction. I wonder if a blog with people sharing ideas of how to raise money to sponsor children might be helpful. I would love to share tips I've learned over the years. For example, it's so easy to collect items for a silent auction when you approach businesses with their best interest in mind "I'm having about 100 women within walking distance of your store over to my house...." They love it! And our neighbourhood loves the bond that comes from pulling together over a social shopping event to sponsor a child.
    I share your blog when advertising our party. My daughter is doing a project right now on a charity of her choice. Of course she chose "Janine's Story" and Heart for Africa. Your blog has been key for her to feel more connected to the reality of life.
    Thank you for your inspiration... for your heart... for your love... for inspiring so many people to reach out and do what they can to make the world a better place.

  15. Hi Janine! One thing your blog does on a weekly basis is to remind others to go beyond the four walls of their home and church and get out into the community and help. I can’t go to ESwatini but I can go down the street to MOMS Candada and help mentor the young single moms there. I can support them and love on them as their lives are not as tragic but equally in need of God’s grace. Your beautiful journey has inspired so many others to begin a journey of their own. Please do keep writing and sharing the day to day life at Project Canaan. And yes, we support you through our church in Stony Plain and love you and pray for you ❤️

  16. I agree much with what everyone has said. I enjoy hearing about the everyday things you experience as your everyday is much different than mine. I have stories from my own back yard but it's good to remember the rest of the world too.

  17. Dear Janine...I'm fairly new to your blog, but I love reading it each week. Please continue!

  18. I understand there are seasons in life and know that some seasons seem to drag out - as often our Michigan Winters seem to last entirely too long. However, your season of serving had obviously not ended.
    Your weekly updates are reminders to me to pray for your ministry and efforts to provide for your Swazi children and to give me the reality check of my 1st world problems not having much eternal significance compared to the reality of the souls you serve.
    I'm so in favor of your continuing, yet will understand - albeit be disappointed if you should choose to stop.
    In whatever direction you go, may it be guided by the Spirit Who lives in you and may you find blessings all ways, always.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.