On May 31st, 2012 the Maxwell family boarded a plane and moved to 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. The 365 day count down started on June 1st, 2011, but the real journey begins now. Thanks for joining us.
We have the opportunity to squeeze 240 boxes of diapers and
wipes in to a 20ft container in Canada that is coming to us filled with donated
educational supplies.We don’t
want to ship the container with any empty space so we have actively been asking
our Canadian friends to shop at Amazon in Canada http://bit.ly/2017diaperdrivecanada
and buy diapers and wipes to fill the container.We have received 90 of the 240 boxes that we desire.
We needed a
place for those diapers to be shipped and a dear friend agreed to have them
shipped to her school, but they could only be there for a week due to limited
space.So another friend said she
would be happy to borrow/rent a truck, go to the school and pick up the boxes
and store them in her garage until the time of packing the container.I love my friends.
I was so
thrilled to see how smoothly this all happened with many people offering their
assistance.I saw photos on Facebook
of the diapers being loaded in to the big box truck and volunteers happy to be
involved.It made my heart happy.
Then there was
the Facebook comment.
these happy photos was a comment (I have permission to share this) that read
“Why are you sending those diapers to Africa when you should be sending them to
the flood victims in Quebec?”
Honestly, I was
shocked.And I know I shouldn’t be
because people post stupid comments on social media all the time, but
really??Why should you send diapers
to orphans in Africa who don’t have parents to care for them?
I am proud to be
a Canadian. I love that when
tragedy or natural disasters strike we have a country where family helps
family, neighbors help neighbors and communities help communities. Many of us
also have the opportunity to purchase insurance and then there are our
Provincial and Federal governments who quickly jump in to help those in
need.It may not be perfect (and
yes our taxes are high), but I am proud that the system works better than most.When there is a problem, Canadians know
that help is on the way.
I am now living
in a country where families have nothing to give other families. Babies are
dumped in out door toilets to die because young mothers have no food or even a
blanket to wrap them in. Children die of malnutrition and neglect, right in
front of our eyes, because we just don’t have the resources to save everyone.In fact, just this week we saw an
8-month-old in our own immediate community die and we will have to bury him on
Monday.(Note, this is not a baby
who lives at our baby home).
I am thankful
that there are people who are helping my neighbors in Quebec who are in need,
but to the lady who posted that comment … I hope you are actively involved in
helping in Quebec, not just sitting on the sidelines taking pot shots at others
trying to help orphans in need. Furthermore, stop being so nasty.
For those of you
who support other charities, ministries and organizations either financially or
with your time, I THANK YOU!There are a lot of people who need a lot of help around the world. I
encourage everyone reading this today to get involved SOMEWHERE. It could be in
Quebec, it could be in Swaziland or it could be right in your own
It takes a
village to raise a child. Please be active in your own village and for a very
small group of you, please stop being critical of people for helping in a
Swaziland … thankful for all who can help us.
Early Mother's Day photo with 76 Emseni children, 40 Toddler home children and Spencer.
Two days ago I was overwhelmed by a wave of sadness.We dropped Spencer off at the
Johannesburg airport (after 8 wonderful weeks with us in Swaziland) and while I
only shed a few tears at that moment, I got a message before we left the
airport that our sweet kitty from back in our Aurora/Alpharetta days, had
died.Her name was Daisy, and she
was a stunningly beautiful Bengal who we have missed dearly.
The tears started to flow, but then the phone rang. It was a
social welfare officer asking if we had room for three small babies? There was
an 8-month-old baby who had been hospitalized for malnutrition and abuse. Then
there were two siblings who were being badly abused by their mentally disabled
mother.The 10-week-old baby boy
would be thrown on the floor when he cried and the 2-year-old girl was being
abused as well.
I told her we would take them all, hung up the phone, and it
A wave of sadness washed over me like a tidal wave and I was
completely overwhelmed by Spencer and Chloe living a million miles away, my
dead cat (who hasn’t lived with me in five years) and the 157 children whose
stories are horrific and haunting.I sat in the passenger seat and cried, while Ian drove us east to the
ocean and the sun set behind us.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and as the day approaches I am thinking
about these things:
·I am thankful for my 15-year-old birth mother
who gave me up for adoption in 1963.
·I am thankful for my adoptive parents (Bernice
and Russ Willis) who gave me every opportunity in the world and showed me how
to give generously and love completely.
·I am thankful for my children, Spencer and
Chloe, who have made me the proudest mom in the whole world. They give
generously, and love completely.
·I am thankful for (and overwhelmed by) by the
157 Swazi children who now call me Mom.
Last Sunday at Children’s Church I was presented the most
amazing gift by the staff and children at Project Canaan. They knew I was going
to be dropping Spencer off in South Africa, and then head away for a quiet
weekend in Durban, so they gave me an early Mother’s Day gift. It is a painting
of tree that has each and EVERY SINGLE child and baby’s thumb print.In the bottom right corner you will see
the color legend that shows which colors represent which children’s home.
There are 155 little thumb prints that make up this beautiful painting.
Yes, I stood in front of them all and cried, but
they were not tear of sadness, rather they were tears of pure joy.I stand amazed at the mosaic of circumstances and people
that the Lord has brought together to create the most beautiful picture at Project Canaan,
and I am humbled to be a part of it.
Please shop on the Heart for Africa Amazon Baby Registry today by clicking
on http://bit.ly/2017diaperdrivein the US and http://bit.ly/2017diaperdrivecanada
in Canada.We have a lot of babies
who have been given the gift of life, and now they need the gift of diapers,
wipes and a table to eat at.Please shop generously, and maybe buy your mom a gift for Mother’s Day
too! I promise she will love it!
Two weeks ago I got the dreaded call. It was Helen saying,
“Mom, we are completely out of diaper wipes!”
What? How can you have 155 babies and run out of wipes?We change 400+ diapers a day, and
we sure don’t want to do that without wipes!YUCK!
I knew Ian was in town and so I asked him if he would mind
stopping at the grocery store and get some wipes. He asked how many, and I said
“ALL OF THEM!”.Within a few
minutes he sent me a photo of the “wipe section” at the grocery store and asked
if I really wanted them all.My
answer was, no, but get all the big packs.
We have not had to buy diapers or wipes since August 2016
and that is because 300+ people from all over the world shopped on Amazon and
purchased 165,000+ diapers and 170,000+ wipes.We still have some diapers, but the wipes are finished.
We currently change 400 diapers and 1,600 wipes each and
every day. That means 146,000 per
year and 584,000 wipes!That’s a
lot of poop!AND, those numbers do
not include days that our babies have diarrhea or when we have a stomach
bug whip through the house!Believe me, you really don’t want to be here then!
Today we are launching our 2nd annual Diaper
Drive and I am inviting you to be a part of this important project.It’s as easy as clicking on this link http://bit.ly/2017diaperdriveand shopping!The shipping address on our Amazon Wish
List is a warehouse that has been donated by a friend of Heart for Africa, so
your purchases will come straight to our warehouse.
The UPS Foundation has very generously offered to ship a 40
ft container for FREE from Atlanta to Swaziland and it will be packed at the
end of June.
We hope to fill the container in the next 3-4 weeks and get
it over to Swaziland.The Amazon
list also have a few key items that we need and cannot buy in Swaziland,
including two tables that each allows us to feed eight little ones at a
time.We also are looking
for a few Little Tykes playhouses, that give our kids hours of activity and
“old fashioned” play each day.
Will you help?Please shop today, and then if you live in the US please copy this linkhttp://bit.ly/2017diaperdriveand post on your social media sites
to invite your friends to be a part of this great need.
If you live in Canada, please share this link http://bit.ly/2017diaperdrivecanadawith your friends and family. Every purchase helps us reduce our
monthly expenses here in Swaziland. I
f you would like to collect diapers in your community and bring them to us in Georgia, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and feel free to use this simple poster.