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From the Garden

March 19, 2023

In my early years of Christianity (18-19 years old) we used to sing a song from Isaiah 55:12, "We shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before us, there'll be shouts of joy and all the trees of the field shall clap shall clap their hands." Whenever I recall that song, it's like a burden lifts off my shoulders, joy fills my insides, and I smile - a knowing smile for the LORD. No matter the circumstances around me, I know that I am at peace in HIM. I will continue to follow HIM into green pastures where I am nourished and find rest for my soul. What an honor it is to be in Christ!

Trees remind me of God's creation - provision and beauty! These beautiful birds are found in the Dominican Republic.

Lex and I headed back to Massachusetts from the Dominican Republic yesterday - to the remnants of a massive storm that left 30" of snow in our area. Wow!!! We leave behind a very productive garden from which we have already shared cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, and parsley.

This orange tree does not produce the sweet, juicy oranges that most of us are accustomed to. It is a bitter orange and is used mainly in beef, pork, or chicken preparation. The meat is "washed" with the bitter (aka sour) orange and salt and set aside to rest. The acidity of the orange begins to break down the meat (aka tenderizing), kills bacteria that may be present on the meat, and adds a lovely flavor. Even though the fruit is very sour, the blossoms are so SWEETLY scented.

We have just begun harvesting a few okras.

Carrots (not pictured mostly because I am NOT a fan!), tomatoes, and beets are still growing.

The corn and beans have been struggling a bit, but we set up an irrigation system this month to help them.

Fruit in the Dominican Republic is AMAZING. Pineapple, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, and avocado have been regulars on the menu this month. We also have an abundance of fruit trees right here on the mission house property...

Bananas are getting close to harvest time, and moringa is flourishing and propagating.

Next to our main campus in Haiti, we've been preparing the land for planting, too.

Leafy greens, like spinach and moringa, are important components of the meals for the baby feeding program. We use them in healthy soups and mixed with grains like corn (pictured here).

The little ones enjoy a variety of foods, including eggs, corn, rice, soy, root vegetables, bananas, plantains, avocados, mangoes, oatmeal, fish, and peanut butter.

Our students have been pretty excited to see "Ti Panik" on the menu again since the container arrived at the mission. "Ti Panik" means "Little Panic." This is the nickname given to the food we receive from our friends at Against Global Hunger. It comes from the excitement everyone feels when this food is being served. It is a rice and soy casserole. People often refer to the soy as "meat" and sometimes make "meat patties" out of it, cooking the rice separately.

Students received their report cards this past week at an assembly with parents present. Top students for the semester were excited to receive certificates, recognizing their high grades.

The students eat at school and receive health services as needed. We are so grateful to partners like Bless Back Worldwide and Blessings International for providing quality medicines for our patients.

Mission USA's partnership with us over the years resulted in establishing a dental clinic at our main campus in Grand-Goave, Haiti. Young and old alike are receiving relief from tooth pain and our students receive regular checkups. Praise the Lord!

We had a wonderful visit with our pastor and his family this past week. It was special for us to share our love for the people of the island of Hispaniola and to introduce them to staff and friends.

Would you like to experience a Hope Encounter with us in Luperòn this May? Reach out to me today to join the team forming now.


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