2013 Africa 1200

Changing Lives, One Skill At A Time

Time and Travels

Time and Travels

It’s been 2 ½ weeks since I returned from southern Africa, and a whole month since my last blog update. Where do the

days go? It was a profitable trip in so many ways, but I have to say it is nice to be back home, even if it’s only for a break

between trips!

Project Canaan Children’s Campus, Swaziland (Heart for Africa)

Moringa Guesthouse, Project Canaan

My visit to Heart for Africa’s base in Swaziland was inspiring. Ian and Janine Maxwell and their staff are doing an amazing

job of rescuing and raising abandoned children. Through the Project Canaan farm they are creating the infrastructure

necessary to sustain such a long-term project. I want to thank Arlyn Koopmans, Dennis, and the rest of the maintenance

staff for allowing me to spend 12 very productive days in their shop.

Farm Maintenance Shop

Bobo doing some brake repairs


Dennis and Brent rebuilding a front suspension

(L-R) Dennis (Maintenance Manager), Bonginkozi, Arlyn Koopmans, Bobo

Project Canaan holds many opportunities for Mercy Tech to assist with mentoring and skills-training. In the maintenance

department alone there’s a need for mechanics, welders, carpenters, machinists, plumbers, electricians, not to mention

the farming operation or the food preparation for the children. Over the next few months our board will be looking at

what our role there could look like in the years to come. I invite anyone who might be interested in a 3-4 week trip to

Africa in 2016 to contact me. We’d love to help you share your life skills with those who really need and appreciate


Fields and cold storage/packing house

A few of the local staff working in the fields. Project Canaan employs over 280 people.

Irrigation dam #3, built through donations by Rotary

 Staff housing - one of the many ongoing building projects at Project Canaan

At Project Canaan the goal is to raise these children until they are 18 years of age, and the whole children’s campus is

being developed accordingly. What is exciting for us at MTM is that the training we might provide to the existing farm

staff now will one day turn their various departments into training centers for the children as they become young adults.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Baby and toddler homes

Dorms for older children

Some of the children will go on to university, but others will want to learn an employable trade as a way to provide for

themselves and their future families. This is truly a situation where the training we can share today will carry on and

impact future generations.



Thanks again to Bill Smythe for donating the Snap-on tee shirts!

What’s Next:


In the meantime, the work in Mexico continues. I will be conducting another training session at San Quintin in late

November and plans are already underway for return trips in the spring and summer of 2016. Our need in Mexico is

primarily for people with mechanics or welding skills, so if a one week trip to the Baja is something you’d like to take

part in, just let us know. We would be glad to make that happen.

We also appreciate all those who support us financially, some on a trip by trip basis and some monthly. The work and

impact of Mercy Tech Mission is growing and your financial partnership will enable us to keep moving forward. Please

consider sending a tax-deductible contribution today through the various options on our donations page.


Happy Thanksgiving to all as we take time to consider the many things we take for granted here in Canada. We truly are

a blessed people.

Rick Cogbill, MTM Mission Director

Wrenching and Welding, Baja style
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