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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Coming to a location near you?


Ian and I are on a 30-day journey across the US and Canada sharing with anyone who has ears to hear about what is happening in the tiny Kingdom of Eswatini. This is a trip we take each year and while we thoroughly enjoy visiting with old friends and family, eating in favorite and new restaurants and updating all of our devices with high speed internet (!), the gap between our life in Africa and life in America only gets wider.

During a gathering the other night I found myself telling a story about one of our babies that had jaws drop and eyes bug open. I was, perhaps somewhat haphazardly, sharing the history of our little 11-month-old baby girl whose mother recently tried to strangler her to death in during a state of drunkenness.  My point was to tell everyone how absolutely adorable this little girl is and how much she loves, and responds to Ian. But the story of joy got lost along the way when I told them how she had been left on the ground since birth and it was only other children in the homestead who would pick her up when she cried and tie her on to their backs. The baby was absolutely terrified of adults and also had to come down from alcohol addiction when she first came to us.


I realize after being in Georgia for the past few days how “common” these stories are to us and how “normal” it is to tell a story about babies found in outdoor toilets or how flippant I can sound tossing out an update on a child who has been badly burned (intentionally or unintentionally) at a dinner party.  At times, I fear that I sound insensitive or at the very least, casual about it all. But that is not what is in my heart. While I may be telling a horrific story of a child’s past, my heart and head are at the end of the story that is filled with joy and hope.  While I must share the nature of a baby being found on the side of a river with river crabs having eaten his anus (requiring a colostomy), my heart and head think of the big smile that I receive every time I see the boy and the joy in his eyes when he runs up to give me a big hug.
 
As of today, we have 251 children who have been placed with us by the Social Welfare department of Eswatini to love back to life.  Each child has their own unique history and personality, and each one will have their own successes and challenges, and that is why it is so important for us to have people like you helping us.  We can’t do this alone.  It takes a very large village to raise these children and we are so very thankful for each and every person who supports us with words of encouragement, love, prayers and with financial gifts.

If you live in the Atlanta, Vancouver, Nashville, Toronto or Ottawa area and would like to come and hear about our lives in Africa, the children whom we love or the people whom we serve. For dates in the US click here. For dates in Canada click here

I am excited to report that both Chloe and Spencer will be with us at our Toronto events on November 9th and 10th so please be surto come and see them and say hi!

If you would like to sponsor one of our 251 children on a monthly basis, please do so today. We appreciate your love and support.



Live from Alpharetta, Georgia … I am a bit jetlagged.

Janine

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