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Saturday, April 25, 2020

HOPE shatters uncertainty!

It feels like time is twisting in the wind.  Some days feel like weeks, some weeks feel like months, and all this craziness is perhaps just getting started here.

The uncertainty that the world is feeling is no less uncertain here. Our children’s campus staff have been on lock down for 60 straight days now, living with and caring for 261 children (some with broken bones, pneumonia and other childhood illnesses), but not once have I heard a complaint or a cross word.  Last week, in our weekly meeting, my Sr. Supervisors told me that the staff were tired, and they were uncertain if we would keep them locked down for another month (or more).  They all have families back at their homesteads and many of them have children who are being cared for by their mother or Grandmother.  Uncertainty.

Discipleship involves communication, during the good times and the bad, and an important part of discipleship to me is teaching my staff how to problem solve. We all got together and worked on a plan to give a much-needed rest to 80 staff who live with the children 24/7 x 8 weeks.  For the past eight days/nights, a group of ten staff members (mixed from all homes) were driven up to The Lodge (our long-term volunteer building that has five double rooms and two dormitories).   

We delivered all their favorite food, with a fresh food pack delivered each day for them to start fresh. The people who love to cook, did the cooking.  They grilled more meat than they could (or should) eat. We delivered loads of firewood to have a bonfire and eat s’mores. They feasted at breakfast on fresh papaya and eggs from the farm, and their treasured Corn Flakes. Lunch was another meal of grilled sausage (boerewors) on a fresh bun with mustard and Nik Naks. They also received a personal care kit.

Each night when I let out dogs out of their day pen I could hear laughter and singing and joy rolling down the mountain towards our home.  They would send me photos of the group grilling, feasting or just being silly and then send beautiful messages of thanks for all that they had received.  Thank you to each and every person who has given so generously and sent words of encouragement to our staff.  

Moving forward our staff will have the option to go home for the five-day break, but most of them want to stay locked down on Project Canaan, saying that this is the safest place to be.  I completely agree. Those that do need or want to go home will go through a screening when they return and then wear a mask for seven days upon their return.  They will get double pay on the days they don’t take off. We are really hoping to avoid any contact with the dreaded COVID-19.  If we have the funds available we will do something similar for the staff in May to continue help with physical, emotional and mental health. If you would like to make a contribution to help give our children’s campus staff a break you can do so by clicking here for the US and clicking here for a donation in Canada.

 Here is one of the teams singing and praising God for his provision and love for them!

Then there are the Project Canaan staff who were considered “non-essential” at the end of March, and were told to stay at home. They have no money to buy any food for their families for the month of May, but because of YOU, the readers of this blog and other friends and family of Heart for Africa, we were able to buy enough food for 170+ staff for TWO+ months! Yesterday and today we had the privilege of driving with two delivery trucks and an incredible team of Project Canaan workers to deliver these food packs to families in Sigceneni, Gebeni and even to those who live far from us. 

God is good, all the time, and we continue to see His hand of provision, protection and love each and every day. Thank you for reading this blog each week and sharing it with others. The world needs HOPE and we know that ours is only found in Jesus Christ. I hope that message is seen loud and clear through Project Canaan and the whole Heart for Africa family.

Live from Eswatini … I saw HOPE shatter uncertainty this week.


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