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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Joy and heartache, often in the same day



One of the things I LOVE about living in Africa is that I don’t feel the “hustle and bustle” of the Christmas season. My shopping is done, wrapping complete and now it’s time to sit and enjoy the view, and my many children.

We did have two staff parties this week for our 320+ employees and I didn’t have to do anything other than attend.  I love seeing the child-like joy that our Swazi brothers and sisters exhibit with their bread eating contest or when they cheer on the three men who are trying to drink a 2L bottle of Coca Cola first. From a tug of war (in bare feet on a gravel road) to the free dance competition, from Swazi cultural dances to poems about Project Canaan – it’s all fun and there is a sense of innocence that I don’t feel at any other time of the year.


2019 started with the death of two babies – a very bad way to start the year.  Throughout the year we received 41 new children, some very sick, malnourished and almost dead. But we have managed to love them back to life.  We have had many hospital admissions, broken bones, Tuberculosis, meningitis, brain surgery, HIV/AIDS, lumbar punctures and we have a little guy with a very rare and serious condition called Steven Johnson Syndrome (he also has been diagnosed with Lissencephalye).  Please pray for Kenneth and the Aunties who are caring for him. My learning curve remains steep, my prayer life active, and my eyes focused on the creator of the Universe.


Most of Project Canaan is closed for the holiday season and our staff typically save holiday days for this time of year so that they won’t be back to work until January 6th.  Of course our Children’s Campus staff are all busy with keeping 257 children fed, cared for, loved and busy!  Our days are filled with swimming lessons, karate, long walks, scavenger hunts and yummy food.

Yesterday we started our day with an urgent phone call about a mysterious fire that started in the Emseni 4 boys home, that burned a couch and could have ended in disaster.  Then we ended our day hosting 22 kids up to our house for dinner and ice cream sundaes.  They were all the Primary school kids who got all A’s and B’s on their final report card. Our lives are filled with joy and heartache, often in the same day, and lots of “unknown”, but we know that we are exactly where we are supposed to be, and rest well in that knowledge.


Spencer and Chloe are home for the holidays and my heart is full.  I love sitting by the fire and talking for hours, I love cooking their favorite meals and I love seeing them interact with the other children who call us “mom” and “dad”.  My world is spinning properly today and I have much to be thankful for.  I pray that you can take a moment of calm to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for – even in the darkest days we all have reasons to give thanks. 


Live from Eswatini … Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Janine

PS - please consider making a year end gift to Heart for Africa today.
 
🇺🇸 US Donors: http://bit.ly/2019YEGIVINGUS
🇨🇦 CA Donors:  http://www.heartforafrica.ca/2019-year-end-giving/ ‎
 

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