Additional Pictures After Testimony
4835 cdd Care, Shelter, Love, Insight
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 20 Number 085
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Psalm 19:8
“The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living” NLT (Bible Paraphrase)
Hello, we are Janine and Ian Maxwell with Heart for Africa – Project Canaan in Lobamba, eSwatini, Africa. (Previously Swaziland, Africa) This is our Cross story of how the Lord transformed everyday business people into His Rescue Centre for abandoned, abused and discarded children in eSwatini, Africa.
I’m Janine and I grew up in Toronto, Canada. I was an only child adopted as an infant. My dad and mom were pharmacists. We were a church family and went to church every Sunday. I met Jesus at church camp. My mom’s father and grandfather were pastors. I attended Christian school through High School. Ian and I met and were good friends in high school. I went away to Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. After graduation we were married.
I’m Ian and I grew up in Ottawa Canada’s capital the 2nd of 4 children. My dad worked as a Geographer for the Canadian Government. He worked for many years mapping the Canadian Arctic. Mom was a Registered Nurse. They met when my dad was in the hospital and mom was his nurse. My parents sent me to a private high school to help me overcome dyslexia. In the 9th grade I was singled out at school and targeted by “disciplining” teachers. They made my life uncomfortable, but I was led to the Lord through this experience. Jesus met me one night during a Liturgical Compline Service and told me “This isn’t forever. I made all of this. Your problems are small. This is nothing. This too shall pass.” Then He was gone.
I graduated high school and headed to Bishop’s University in Quebec, Canada. My dyslexia and the trauma of high school was behind me. After graduation Janine and I married. We now have two children. Spencer and Chloe.
The late 20th century we became successful marketing people with 75 employees. We loved the Lord and He was blessing what we are doing. Then 911 happened. (Janine was in New York City on business when the Towers fell. Ian was in an airplane on his way to a business meeting in Chicago.)
The aftermath of 911 set us on a path to seek the Lord through all the chaos and redefined who we were. Janine started traveling to Africa by working at an orphanage in Kenya. Her heart was broken for the children in need. Janine and Ian decided to close their marketing business, as an act of faith, and wait for the Lord’s direction.
We started escorting groups of people into Kenya, Malawi and eSwatini, in Africa. We became a helps ministry for orphanages. The size of our groups grew and for three years we were actively building support for children’s homes in those three countries.
Our goal was to help these homes become self-sustainable, but that was a bigger challenge than we had expected. We felt the Lord prompting us to look for a piece of land where we could start a farm and grow food and raise dairy cattle for milk. (Interesting to note that neither Janine nor Ian had any farming experience!)
A piece of land became available in eSwatini. 1,000 hectares or 2,500 acres. It was a huge area with mountains that held large areas of bush. The asking price was one million US Dollars. They didn’t have that kind of money! They prayed and Ian said, “If the Lord wants it, He will provide.” Soon Janine and Ian were meeting with a wealthy Atlanta businessman who asked, “How much does such a piece of property like that in Africa cost?” Two weeks later they received an email telling them to proceed with buying the land – the money was committed. Three days after the 2008 stock market crash a check in full was received!
Owning a piece of property was just the beginning. It needed water, roads and electricity. They started with clearing the bush to create fields. In 2012 they opened their first home for abandoned babies, and Joshua, their first rescued baby arrived on March 1st.
That was 10 years ago. Today they house 225 rescued children at Heart for Africa – Project Canaan. The environment is such that polygamy is legal. A man may have many wives all with multiple children. He goes to other African countries for work. He becomes infected with HIV/AIDS and returns to eSwatini where he infects all his wives. He dies and all the wives die. That leaves a child crisis. An entire generation has been wiped out by HIV/AIDS.
Janine and Ian and their team have found children from just hours after birth to under the age of two, in situations that brings tears to your eyes. They describe children minutes after birth being stuffed into a bag and thrown into dumpsters. Children beaten with broken arms and legs. Malnutritioned children. Dumpster children that were blind, deaf and just barely hanging on for life.
To hear them talk, Jannie and Ian will point to one child and the story begins. We were called to the hospital by a doctor who said, “This baby is dying. Please take her home and love her until the end. She deserves that kind of love until she is with the Lord.” They brought her home four years ago and today she is bright eyed and smiling as she sits bowing her head for prayer before their evening meal.
Another one who was blind when the doctor passed him on to Heart for Africa. He said, “This child will never see.” Eight months later the Lord healed her.
A boy was deaf when the doctor called for help. He sent the orphan to Heart for Africa saying, “There is no hope for him to ever hear.” Today he hears just fine as the love shown to him was expressed through the Lord healing his hearing.
The number of HIV/AIDS kids has dwindled down to 10%. The Lord has selectively healed many. Baylor Pediatric AIDS Center and a host of international HIV/AIDS workers all watch over the children with regular visits and maintaining necessary medications.
This has all been accomplished by the Lord in the first 10 years of Heart for Africa. On the table are the plans for the next 10 years. There are no laws that allow adoption in eSwatini so once the children are placed with the Maxwell’s through the Social Welfare department, they are responsible for them until age 18 as their legal guardians. The Maxwell’s have committed to help these children until they are 21 years old.
Currently they average a new baby every 12 days. They are projecting a day when they will have 600 children under their care. As the children grow, they will need the next level of care and education. Heart for Africa has schooling now through grade 2 and every year they will be adding another grade. Their elementary school will be filled, then they are planning a middle school. And eventually a high school. They are quickly using the 2,500 acres.
They have 5000 chickens that lay eggs and they share with local churches. A barn full of cows that provide for their milk. They use 500 diapers every day and wash 900 articles of clothing every day. They have developed an Artisan Team that has developed cultural souvenirs that are sold around the world providing 25% of their operating costs.
Janine’s favorite Bible verse is James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” NKJV
Ian’s favorite Bible verse is: Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” NKJV (Emphasis Added)
Janine as the C.O.O. of Heart for Africa – Project Canaan wears many hats. But when it comes to what she likes best it is saving children. She finds herself working in local hospitals or with police to search out, find and rescue one child at a time. One more soul for the Kingdom.
While still a baby, Janine was adopted by loving parents giving her an opportunity to walk in the light of the Lord. Janine now passes that love on with Ian through Heart for Africa – Project Canaan, many times over.
Ian as the C.E.O. of Heart for Africa – Project Canaan has a solid reputation for getting things done. Organizational skills and order keep plans on schedule. One can see, maintaining structure has driven their building successes, for the first 10 years and will surely sustain them for the next 10.
Janine and Ian agree The Cross is life. Both spiritual and physical. Without what Jesus did on Calvary, what is the point of life? Jesus clearly made the way for us to reach heaven and it is through the Cross. They teach it to the kids, and they live it every day.
This Cross planted is a celebration for their first 10 years and is a destination for their children. On the South Eastern section of their land stands Fire Mountain. It earned its name because in the early days this mountain would catch fire every year and all the foliage would burn to the ground. Today modern-day fire breaks prevent such a fire. And today with the establishment of this Cross Janine and Ian say, “We are setting aside an area where we will build a traditional Swazi village so our children will learn their heritage. And while here we will teach them how they transitioned from Traditional Ancestor Worship to the Love of Jesus — at the foot of this large Cross. A symbol of what Jesus Christ did for them for eternity.
Prayer: Father thank you for people all over this planet who are like Janine and Ian who provide care, shelter, love and insight into the Love of Jesus for eternity — we respectfully call them “Missionaries.” A handful of those chosen by God for such a time as this. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!