I can still hear it… – by Volunteer Janice Johnson

I can still hear it…By Volunteer Janice Johnson

I can still hear the chickens loud and proud announcing, “This is the Day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  A couple of hours later the “Aunties” are meeting in the baby home singing and praying to God, our Father, as they bless the baby campus and walk the halls of the toddler home.  Around 7:05 am, I hear the pitter patter of feet running down the hall.

That was two weeks ago, when I had the opportunity to live and serve in the toddler home on Project Canaan in Swaziland, Africa with 24 toddlers.  Twenty-four different personalities that reminded me throughout the day of God’s goodness and grace.  I thought I knew what my role would be while I was there, but according to GOD’s plan and purpose, everyday was a different experience and an opportunity to serve Him…through the aunties, the children, at the pre-school and in unison with everyone on the farm.  I will never forget riding in the back of a beat up old pick-up truck with Chloe when we brought Nomsa “home” (in the back because her Tuberculosis is highly infectious so she had to ride outside.  So we joined her with masks on).  We heard the Aunties singing God’s praises (yet again) so she could see her twin daughters, Leah and Rachel, who live at the baby home.  Reading books and saying prayers with the toddlers, walking to Nomsa to take her meals, and “being thankful” in the midst of it all.

That’s what happens when you “Let Go and Let God”.  You experience His love and devotion in so many ways.  Several years ago, our Senior Pastor, Andy Stanley, did a sermon called One, Not Everyone.  It was very clear to me that in this season that I would go “Deep and Wide” in Swaziland with Heart for Africa.

On my last morning, as I helped dress another happy but squirmy toddler, I prayed and thanked God for this new generation.  Those pitter patter feet would walk for HIM;  those lips would speak for HIM;  and those hands would work for HIM.  And as young Gabriel would say…AMEN!

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Part One: Wake Up By: Chinua Hawk

So here I am about a month out from my trip to Swaziland and this is the first morning I’ve had to really think about it.  Months have gone by filled with task after task leaving me exhausted and completely out of gas and ideas.  Consumed with these “tasks” I put the important things aside and focused on just getting it done.  Frustration ensued and chaos arrived soon after, and it never occurred to me to seek Gods direction. I just needed to get “it” done.  I hadn’t read my bible in a few months and almost completely stopped praying, and the worst part is that I didn’t even realize it.

Two days ago I was convicted for not praying before I went to bed which was something I never failed to do until recently.  So I prayed. The next day I opened my bible up and read. I prayed again. This morning I woke up with a clear mind and more importantly I felt Gods presence again.  So I laid in bed for awhile reading, praying and thinking. I started thinking about my childhood and it hit me that I never wanted for anything.  I was never hungry. I was never without clothing or a comfortable home.  I have a mother that loved her children and worked her fingers to the bone to make sure we had what we needed. I had pets, toys and a bedroom decorated with my favorite action heros.  I could go on but one might get the idea that I’m bragging.  Trust me I’m not.  What I’m understanding this morning is that when something is your normal experience you don’t always look at it as something special or a blessing, it’s just what you have.  Some of us can go a life time without realizing how blessed we are.

My thoughts then drifted from my own experience to the reality of the orphans of Swaziland. They don’t have parents, no mother or father to love , protect and care for them. How long will it be until their next meal? Where do they sleep at night or keep warm? Who shields them from the predators?  I don’t know this world and the thought of growing up like that breaks my heart.  My grandmother used to say “God always sends somebody by.” I get what she means now. God is sending me and countless others from around the world to go “by” and represent Him by helping His children.  So for now I’m listening for the Fathers voice. I’m going where He has directed me and that place is Swaziland, Africa.

To be continued…

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