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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Oh, how times have changed.



Yesterday my firstborn child turned 25-years-old. It’s hard to get my head around the fact that I am the mother of someone who has been alive for 25 years, but it’s true.  Our family is together in Barcelona this week to celebrate with Spencer, celebrate our family and have a nice holiday together. (If you don’t know how or why we came here please read last week’s blog at https://janinemaxwell.blogspot.com/2019/06/who-would-do-that.html).

Last night we celebrated his birthday on a rooftop patio that had the famous La Sagrada Familla Temple in the background (which made for epic photos and an evening that no one will ever forget).  Spencer had friends from his first Master degree program at Queen’s University in Canada fly in from all over the world (where they are living now), a friend from his high school days in Georgia arrived and another 70+ friends from his Master degree program here in Barcelona.  There was great food, great music and great conversations with young people from all over Europe, getting ready to start out in the world as adults.  I was fascinated, stimulated and thoroughly enjoyed my time with them all.  Suffice it to say Ian and left the party at midnight as “the kids” went on to other venues. 

Ian reminded me that when Spencer was small, he didn’t like the house parties that we had back in Ontario. The music was too loud, there were too many people and he would either go upstairs and put himself to bed or head over to the neighbors house where it was quieter.  Oh, how times have changed.  

While looking for photos of the birthday boy I came across this photo of Spencer’s 11thbirthday, taken in Swaziland during our first family visit in 2005. Never in a million years did I think that photo would kick off a lifetime of service in the tiny Kingdom of eSwatini, that has now become our home.  Oh, how times have changed.

Spencer's birthday in 2005 - our first visit to Swaziland as a family.
Last night we had SO MANY people come up and express their interest and thanks for what our family is doing in eSwatini. They had heard many of the stories from Spencer about big dogs and snakes, to firearms and break-ins, to burnt babies and wild monkeys – all from a proud son talking about his family with pride.  Near the end of the evening one of Spencer’s friends told me about a conversation they had, during a holiday in Mallorca, Spain, when Spencer was talking about his little brothers and sisters in eSwatini. The friend said that he was moved when Spencer spoke of the little ones because his eyes lit up and he got emotional when talking about them. He could see how special those children really are to Spencer.  Yes, I cried when he told shared that story with me. 

NDCA Primary school in Newmarket, Canada
Spencer, we are so very proud of you and all that you have accomplished, but more importantly for the person you have become. I can’t wait to see where the journey of life takes you, but always know that God has a plan for your life and you will always have us cheering you on from the sidelines!

My favorite Spencer photo - Murphy, our dog, liked to keep his face clean at all time
Live from Barcelona … celebrating family.

Janine 

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