Storms Rolled In, Wind…Rain….Lightening Came, Second Highest Temperature in the World, Baby 105 Arrived & I’m Late Writing this Sunday! – by Chris Cheek

A new week has begun and I’m late, late, late writing. I love beginning a new week looking back over the week before & writing about the journey, sharing the stories of my life at Project Canaan. My morning began as a typical Sunday morning, with my cup of coffee & the time to think about writing. Then I got sidetracked by babies and a rocking chair.  Baby after baby would take their turn, (Enoch, Shirley, James, Joash, George, Samantha, Jacob, Aaron, Adam…..) crawling in my lap, snuggling for a few minutes of rocking, then down they would go to explore the world around them.

I kept thinking I should be writing, but the gentle rhythms of a Sunday morning in Africa won my time.

It has been an interesting week. I guess I say that every week & so I believe that makes every week an ordinary week filled with extraordinary experiences.  On Dec. 2 Swaziland recorded the second highest temperature in the world for that day. Temperatures reached 43 Celsius, with my trusted converter, friends, that is 109.4  Fahrenheit.

That is just plain hot. There are no words to describe it. All I wanted to do was stand in a cold shower. I’ve been told we can expect the same temperatures in the upcoming weeks. It may be a degree or two higher or lower but in that range. The number really doesn’t matter when it gets that hot…hot is hot, even when the wind blows it is hot air. Come, winter, come!!!!

Following the heat came a much welcomed storm with rain!!!!  The country got hammered with wind & lightening but the need for water is so dire, that the storm damage & over 24 hours of no power was a small price to pay for the life-giving water that fell. We are still in a drought and many people are without food & facing a long hard year.  For most it is too late to plant maize. The growing season will be short & the yield low. The people that could plow after the rain are still facing devastating challenges, because if no rains follow, the seed will fry & not germinate. Prices will rise & the sick, the elderly, children & parents will sink deeper into the arms of malnutrition & hunger. Come, Rain, Come.

Yes, I did say over 24 hours & no power. For a family in America it would be a slight inconvenience. For us it means water has to be boiled to be drinkable (105 children – many with weakened immune systems), no ceiling fans in 100+ degree temperatures, antiretroviral meds not kept at stable temperatures, a weeks worth of meat thawing, and crying babies that can’t sleep from heat & total darkness.  “It ain’t easy….”

As the power intermittently came back, storm damage cleaned up, the phone call came. Out of the chaos of heat, storms & no power we got a new baby boy just about 24 hours old. Our 105th baby. That gives us 105 children 4 years old and younger.  One hundred and five little ones that have a place to be loved & call home, food when there are droughts, health care when sick, love & hugs when the lights are out from the storms.

Rocking on Sunday morning to the slow gentle African rhythms….

The journey continues…..

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