Posted: December 3, 2015 by Amy Pehlke, Children's Pastor
What can I say about Project Canaan? Well – It is a little piece of Heaven smack dab in the middle of the most beautiful mountains you’ve ever seen. It is a place filled with lots of Faith, lots of Love, lots of Hope, lots of laughter, and lots of children -104 to be exact.
104 of the happiest children one’s ever seen. They are happy because they are so loved and they know God. Like the Phoenix, they have risen from the ashes and been saved. Some of their stories so tragic and heart breaking, but looking at them you would never know that their little lives started out the way they did.
I really didn’t know what to expect on my trip. I actually thought I would be sad seeing the children and knowing what most of them had gone through. Literally being thrown away and left for dead. Each story worse than the one before. Their physical scars a constant reminder of being burned, or eaten alive by bugs, or thrown in a river to drown. Scars that they will ask about as they get older. But I actually experienced the opposite emotion – pure happiness! The children were so happy to sit on our laps, or to be pulled in a wagon, or to braid our hair and to give hugs – lots and lots of hugs. The only thing I wanted to do was love on some kiddos. Well, I got to do that and so much more! Although I had the opportunity to spend my time with any age group, I was drawn to the preschoolers and spent most of my time with them. I was able to experience how they are taught, I was able to play games with them, I was able to be part of their 1st ever field trip to a game drive, and I was able to introduce them to one of my favorite Christmas traditions – making sugar cookies! These are just a few of the special moments I was able to experience while in Swaziland. There are so many more that as I process my week I may share. These are the highlights that I will forever keep in my heart.
I am still adjusting to being back home, which is a great thing as I missed my family. There are so many positive things that have come from me traveling. The emotions at home have been pretty intense, in a good way. I have come to love and appreciate what I have so much more. But there isn’t an hour that goes by that my mind and heart isn’t in Swaziland. I am trying to figure out how I can get my whole family there with me next year so they can experience and get to know the place I fell in love with.
Sala kahle (good bye) for now!