On May 31st, 2012 the Maxwell family boarded a plane and moved to eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) to live at Project Canaan. I hope to update my blog on Saturday mornings and share, as honestly as I can, the highs and lows of our life in Africa. We are living on a farm in a remote part of this tiny Kingdom and are serving the community as well as the orphans and vulnerable children of the nation. Thanks for joining us.
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Saturday, October 5, 2019
Oh, how times have changed … and so have I.
Walking out after our wedding ceremony ... what were those kids thinking!?
Today is our 28th wedding anniversary, and I
thought I would take a few minutes to reflect on how things have changed over
the years.I’ll try not to bore you!
Last night we went to our new soccer field at sundown, took
our fold-out chairs and just sat and looked over the fields.It’s our new Friday night “fun activity”, and
we love it.The farm workers were
leaving for home, scores of birds were dancing and singing in the sky and we could
hear the sounds of the children playing outside up at the Emseni Campus.
Oh, how times have changed.
When I was 24-years-old I started ONYX Marketing Group in Toronto,
and for 16 years I felt defined by my role as President and Founder of that
company.My identity was completely wrapped
up in my company, being one of very few women around the world to own a
Marketing Agency in the 1980’s. And then
my life flipped upside down after being in New York City on September 11,
2001.That day, and the
days/weeks/months that followed forced me to examine what I was living for, and
what I was doing with my life.That self-examination
lead to a major change in our lives, which eventually led us to living in
Africa. And as I sit and write this blog I am overlooking a farm, carved out of
African bush, and this is home.
We've got beets!
Last night as we sat listening to the sounds of the farm,
thinking back on the last 28 years, we realized that the first 14 years of our
married life we both worked at ONYX and the last 14 years has been spent in
ministry.I am no longer defined by my
business days, but I can clearly see how our business days worked to prepare us
for our calling in Eswatini.
I remember when we were first called to Heart for Africa
thinking that I had NO skill sets that would be useful in a poverty and AIDS
stricken country in Africa.The Swazi
people didn’t need a marketing person, they needed food, clothing, jobs and
hope.I was certainly not the person for
that!I was a self-centered, capitalist
who liked nice hotels, expensive restaurants and room service 😁 .
But the Lord has changed me. Don’t get me wrong, I still
like those things, but I would much rather be feeding the hungry, caring for
the sick, loving the unloved or helping people earn an income so that they can care
for their families.It’s simply amazing
what can happen when we really surrender and stop focusing all of our energy on
our needs, our desires, our hopes and our dreams and starting thinking about
others.It’s a paradigm shift, and it is
life-changing, life-saving and life-giving.
Today Ian and I are going to spend the day together just “doing
life”.We will make the one-hour drive
to town to buy some groceries, go out for lunch, come back and hang out with
some toddlers on a scorching hot African day.Then we will throw some steaks on the grill and watch the sun set,
I am so thankful for the past 28 years with my best friend.
We have gone through intense joy and extreme sorrow, seen both hope and
hopelessness, planted seeds and fought fires, and I wouldn’t change a
thing.Life is an adventure, and I am so
thankful for the most amazing partner that I get to do life with.
I thought I would leave you with a few life lessons that I
have learned in my 28 years of marriage.Maybe they will be helpful, and maybe not.
-Laugh a lot.
-Apologize a lot.
-Forgive and ask for forgiveness a lot.
-It’s okay to go to bed angry, just make sure you
deal with it in the morning when you are rested.
-Don’t ever say, “I don’t think I want to have
children because they are too much responsibility” (!)
-If your husband says, “Hey, I think we should
buy 2,500 acres of land in Africa” – just go with it.
from Eswatini … loving life with Ian Maxwell.