Big Salt Fish and such
Our days seem filled with meetings, hard physical labor, planning, and more planning with more and more people. Why? We are preparing for the mission's 20 year anniversary celebration. All of us at MOHI in Haiti are really, really excited to prepare a festival for our community - even though most of us don't really have any frame of reference for such an event. My pinterest boards are being used BIG time right now, as I endeavor to find games and activities that would be simple to do and that our community would find enjoyable.
Growing up, I went to day camp every summer. We had arts and crafts class twice a week. I would do everything in my power to get out of having to go. So you can imagine, I am not a very crafty, hands-on, artsy type of person. I do have vision, but I will need YOUR help to make it happen. PLEASE reach out to me this week with YOUR ideas and how you, your church, your youth group might be able to help with some of these "artsy" project. Seriously, I need your input now!!! Help us to make this a far-reaching and heart touching event.
Now, let me catch you up with some of the neat things I got to experience this week. For instance, these sophomore students were gathered together in the library, working on a school project.
They presented it in their classroom a few days later.
Delienne is in eighth grade this year. I find her smile absolutely captivating!
If there's one thing that makes for happy students, it's a hot meal!
The dental staff was showing off their new t-shirts from Bless Back Worldwide this week. They were sporting the chili cook-off that took place yesterday in Charlotte. We so appreciate the wonderful support of this organization and all their friends!
Mango trees are so special. They are huge and can produce hundreds, even thousands of fruit a year and continue doing so for hundreds of years. I do believe they are a big part of the reason that Haitians have survived, despite unrelenting poverty throughout their more recent history.
We have a "beloved" mango tree on our Thozin campus that we were at risk of losing. The tree is surrounded by picnic benches that were built by our student friends at Covenant Day School in Charlotte. Some hard labor went into caring for this tree and trying to nurse it back to health. What a joy to see it today, so full of flowers. Just imagine, each of those flowers has the potential to become a mango! That's a LOT of fruit! In addition to the nutritional value, the tree provides shade and seems to pull breezes into itself. And, of course, mangoes are downright yummy!!!
Pastor Lex and I joined our St. Etienne congregation this morning in worship. This sweet, little girl spent more time staring at me than anything else. I was compelled to make funny faces and smile at her regularly. She responded with big smiles, too.
Pastor Lex preached a message about being a witness for Christ everywhere you go. I got stuck in the part about us being the salt of the earth, though.
Having grown up in New England, I learned (by experience) that salt is used to bring out or enhance the flavor of food. I learned (by theory) that salt is a preservative. This was a "fact" that I knew little of through my life's experience. Recently, however, I gained a little experience with it.
Pastor Lex and I love red snapper, which is a fairly common fish here in Haiti. Living near the ocean, we sometimes find opportunity to get it for a very reasonable price. I often make a Haitian style sauce with it, which is served over rice and beans. It's quite yummy.
Recently someone sold us enough fish for several meals at once. I would have frozen the extra and used it later, but my husband said, "No, we're going to salt it." WHAT? Why would you take this delicious fresh fish and salt it? (The little experience I've had with salted fish is a kind of dried fish that is used for a filling inside a fried empanada type thing - one of my least favorite proteins, quite honestly!) "Oh! You've never had pwason gwo sel?" he asked me. I scrunched up my nose and said, "Nope!"
Well, he took charge, as he usually does when it comes to accomplishing things in Haiti that I am unfamiliar with. One of the guys here salted the fish. He would put it out in the sun each day. When he would walk by with it, I'd almost gag. It was very stinky! And yet my husband kept insisting it would make the most delicious sauce.
Well, I haven't yet brought myself to try the sauce, but I thought about the whole "pwason gwo sel" (big salt fish) while my husband preached this morning. Jesus said that WE are the salt of the earth.
I got this picture in my mind of mankind being like that very stinky fish. (Sin has a way of making us stinky, too!) Even though it stunk, the salt would preserve it and keep it useful. I pictured the Church, not so much as a salt shaker, but as the big morsels of salt that were worked into those fish. Without them, the fish would rot and become useless. You and I were once those rotting fish, as well. Today, we can bring preservation to one another, as well as to all those in this world, as we practice the love of Jesus everywhere we go.
We added a couple of goats to the herd this week. Wilson and Joseph insisted on giving them medication before letting them loose to run around with the others.
Pastor Lex and I quickly left St. Etienne this morning to arrive in Thozin for our weekly planning meeting with the department heads for the 20 year anniversary celebration coming up March 21. We held part of the meeting out in the yard, so we could talk about what each area would look like during the celebration and get their input. These two went to stand where everyone decided to build the platform for the event.
It certainly was a very blessed Sunday, as two mama goats gave birth to 5 kids this morning.
I hope you enjoy hearing some of their little voices in the video below. There are 2 boys and 1 girl. (The female is about half the size of the largest male.)
Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us this week. Don't forget to please reach out to me with your ideas! Thank you!