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.
We are in Toronto this weekend … our old “stomping grounds”,
and it’s weird.
I remember always wanting to live in Toronto because I thought
it was the greatest city in the world. I loved the noise, the high-rise buildings,
musical theatre, the speed of life, nice restaurants and skanky bars that we
would visit to listen to live music.I
didn’t mind the traffic or the cold weather or the snow, I just loved Toronto.
But it seems I have changed.
I cannot express how happy I am to have our family together.
Spencer flew in from Chicago, Chloe drove in from St. Catherine’s and Ian and I
drove from Ottawa, after spending a few days visiting the Maxwell family and
our friends from the Egg Farmers of Canada.Nothing makes me happier than having the four of us together, anywhere
in the world and for any amount of time.But I am starting to get homesick.I miss my little ones. I miss their squeals of joy, their never-ending chatter, their
hugs, their innocence and I miss my Swazi friends and family.
There is a purity of spirit that I feel when I am at Project
Canaan, and while most people in the country are living in abject physical poverty,
their internal joy overflows from their smiles to their words of encouragement and
thanksgiving.But I don’t see that in
As we have traveled the past 20 days to eight cities in Canada
and the US, I can’t help but notice the poverty all around me. It’s not poverty
of income or wealth, it’s a poverty of spirit.I got in the elevator to get to the AirBnB that we are staying in and I
greeted the people and they just looked away as if I was crazy.Everyone is moving so quickly to get to the
next thing on their schedule, but rarely taking the time to be present where they are (I too am guilty of that!). I’m not
saying everyone is like that, and I am not doing a good job putting words to my
thoughts, but I feel a sadness and emptiness here that I just don’t feel back
I often wonder “what if” we had said NO to this calling to
serve “the least of these”?I would
never have seen the miracle of Princess walking or Holly and Ivy hearing or
Jonathan being raised from the dead.I
would never have understood how “life-giving” fresh water really is or how terrifying
fire can be or how often a chicken lays an egg (!).But most importantly, I may never have learned
that God IS our provider, His grace IS sufficient, and His mercy is new every
morning. I have learned that from living
This weekend we will see friends from high school, our business
days and our life in Toronto. There is no way for me to adequately explain the
joy (or the sorrow) of living in Eswatini, but hopefully they will see it in
our eyes and hearts.
To my Swazi friends and family – you have changed me, and I
will be forever grateful for your patience, your kindness, your grace and your
Live from Toronto … I don’t miss the cold weather!
Ian and I are on a 30+ whirlwind trip to raise awareness and
funds for Heart for Africa and the work we are doing in Eswatini. We are half
way through our travels and all has gone well to date.
Next weekend we will be in Toronto, our favo(u)rite city in
the world .We LOVE Toronto and are excited to be there
with Spencer and Chloe, but it’s not without apprehension.
Here is why.
We have four different events on November 9th and
10th, and we have NO idea if anyone will attend them.
The first one is a gathering of high school friends from our
Grenville Christian College (GCC) days.While it is the school where Ian and I met, it has been under fire for
many years by staff and students who consider it a cult.The once popular boarding school has been
closed for many years and there is a Class Action lawsuit against it by many
former students who were really messed up and/or hurt during their time
there.Most high schools have regular
alumni reunions, but GCC hasn’t because of the conflict amongst the alumni and,
frankly, some of the memories that people may not want to face.So … we are sticking our necks out by calling
a gathering of GCC friends on Saturday, November 9th from 5:00 to
7:00PM at the Amsterdam Barrel house, which may be a total bust with only Ian,
Spencer, Chloe and I sitting together (with our friend Sandy Dameron Carrington).I hope
our GCC friends will come and reunite.
After that event we are hoping to see old friends and
business associates from our ONYX Marketing days, but again, those days were a
long time ago and we kind of made a mess of things when we closed the company
without warning. ONYX Marketing was a very successful Marketing Agency from 1988
to 2004. We had a great business model that attracted the best people in the
marketing industry to come and work hard, and play hard, and yes we played very
hard. And then I went to Africa, my life was changed and the whole thing came
to a crashing halt.
The Good old days
We haven’t had much contact with many people from the “good
old days”, but again are sticking our necks out and inviting anyone and
everyone who might be interested in seeing us and hearing about why we really
did close our company and what we are doing with our lives now. Spencer and
Chloe will both be with us for moral support J
, but it might just be us with our friend Diane Wilson sitting at the Amsterdam
Barrel House from 7PM to 9:30PM on Saturday, November 9th.And that would be okay too.
The following day we are speaking
at the Peoples Gospel Church (Chinese) at 11 AM, thanks to an invitation from
our friend Annie Tam and then heading to the Ballantrae Golf & Country Club
Recreation Centre in Stouffville from 2 PM – 4 PM with an open invitation to
anyone who would like to come and hear about what we are doing in Eswatini and how
we can get more Canadians involved.We
are thankful to Ray and Pat Stadnick and Leslie and Fraser Wilkinson, who are
co-hosting the event, but it may just be the eight of us.
If you live in Canada and knew us from one of our past
lives, and wondered “what ever happened to the Maxwell family”, please do join
us at one of the locations we will be at in the GTA.They will all be very casual and we won’t ask
you for money (well, you never know 👀).You
can check out all the location details at this link.
Live from Minneapolis … it’s a cold (and FROSTY!) Saturday
If you want to see what we are doing without joining us at an event in the GTA please go to www.heartforafrica.ca.