What foods are uniquely American? When asked to contribute to International Night at our girls’ school, we answered with mini S’mores! We can’t buy graham crackers here, so we used tiny German cookies that have built-in chocolate. A teammate donated American marshmallows, and we were in business. It was fun to share an American treat, and it felt appropriate that our version gave a nod to our immigrant roots!
Do you ever feel like you have no hope? Like there are obstacles all around you and no matter what you try to do, you can’t figure out a way to succeed? When I saw this crane game, I thought of that. These games are made to give you hope that you can get something so much more valuable than the cost to play. In life, we all have a hard time seeing the prize at times. We feel hopeless, as if it just isn’t worth trying to play the game. Paul encourages us in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Psalm 71:14 says, “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” Choose hope!
On Wednesday afternoons, we have been hosting a cooking exchange class where we share some of our favorite American recipes with our students and they in return will share some of their local dishes. Pray for us to engage in heart to heart conversations. Pray also that we will be able to share not only the joy of cooking, but even more, the joy we have found in Jesus.
After a recent team meeting, I noticed something interesting. Do you see it? Each of us chose a patterned coffee cup, and left the clear ones behind. I interpreted this as a sign that we are a fun and lively bunch. 🙂 However, it also served as a great reminder that it’s good to step back periodically, and look for patterns in our lives (good and bad). With the Holy Spirit’s help, and the promise of new mercies every day, we can pursue life-giving, Christ-like living with joy and confidence.
While this cute, little basket currently holds beautiful fall foliage, people of the national religion typically fill them with boxwood branches on Palm Sunday (what they use instead of palms, which aren’t native here). The sprigs dry over time, and are left until the following year when they are sometimes burned or replaced with fresh ones.
Sometimes in ministry you can get so caught up in the “routine” and miss some of the new things God may be calling you to take part in. Please join us, as our team is actively asking God for discernment to see any new doors He is opening, and then to have the courage to step through them!
Just recently our city had its annual harvest festival. As I was walking around I found what I thought were shallots and got about a kilo of them. I was very excited because I love how shallots taste and there a few recipes that I have been wanting to make that call for them. About a week later, we had a local friend over to our house. At one point she went to our kitchen to do something but quickly returned with the bowl of “shallots” in her hands. She asked, “Why do you have these?!” That was when we quickly discovered that we must have made a mistake. What we thought were shallots were actually onions meant for planting. Many times we wonder what our local friends think of us when we do things like this, but somehow they still want to be friends with these crazy foreigners!