In the New Testament, Paul tells the Thessalonians we are to “Pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) I used to do this, as least I used to be a lot better at this than I am now…
When I am walking from upstairs to switch the laundry, God might remind me a bit about his everlasting love. I will give him thanks. While I am washing up a few dishes in the sink, He will remind me of a friend who needs prayer. I will ask for His love and blessing to be made known. Folding a few towels, I will sing a little praise song. While putting my sweet kids to bed, I pray for their protection and their salvation. This is who I want to be and what I want to do throughout the day.
Unfortunately, since I have facebook/internet on my phone instead of allowing God to draw my thoughts, prayers, and praises to Him, I allow my brain to be muddled with where my fb friends are eating lunch, who they are hanging out with, and what they are watching on tv. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not fb bashing. I love keeping up with my friends and family. I love sharing what we are eating for dinner! I love the connectedness that it brings to our lives, especially living in Haiti so far away from “home”. After the 2010 earthquake, I was amazed that it was the only reliable source for communication!
What I am confessing is facebook without ceasing instead of pray without ceasing. I am wasting precious moments of everyday interacting with a screen instead of the little faces in front of me. I catch up on everyone’s updates while I wait for my kids to fall asleep instead of praying for them and with them. I look up after dinner and see that my kids have taken advantage of my Blackberry addiction to escape from the table (and hoping to escape from the dishes!). Sometimes it happens during the school day. When my kids are hard at work, I think I have time to read a little thing that someone posted. When I am finished, I notice that my kids were not focused because I lost my focus on them. My family deserves my best, and so does my God. I am have failing them.
So with this confession, comes repentance and a stubborn resolve to keep my phone in my pocket. At times it seems to be an extension of my hand. And since I am putting this out here for all to read, I want you to ask me about my time with my phone. You can keep me accountable. I did tell my kids to keep me accountable as well. They haven’t failed me yet.
And please, someone tell me that I am not alone!
I have written about Miss Jasmine before. She is our school morning nanny for Aimee and Callie and also teaches Christa and Hannah French four days a week. Sometimes Miss Jasmine likes to spice it up in French class (especially when the students are feeling a little overwhelmed and frustrated about French!).
One of their favorite activities is to make “marinad” which is fried dough. I love it that Jasmine teaches the kids French but I really love it that they get to learn Haitian culture and how to make Haitian food. Marinad is a snack food that is typically sold on the street to passersby who need a little bite to eat. When Eric and I lived in Port-de-Paix, he always bought marinad outside of the gate of the school to help him make it to lunch time.
First you mince some garlic together with some salt and pepper. Dissolve Maggi (or chicken bouilion) in some water. Mix in all of the spices and water with a couple of cups of flour and a teaspoon of baking powder. I understand that my measurements are quite vague, but I wasn’t with them while they were preparing the dough! Add enough flour/water until a soft dough forms. Heat up some oil in a skillet and drop spoonfuls into the grease. Fry, turning after a few minutes.
Callie likes to call them “sea turtles” because that is what they look like to my little three-year-old. They are best served hot with some Haitian piklis.
I have to say that I think these taste a lot like Long John Silver’s batter..Maybe we have just discovered their recipe.
A week ago Sunday, our whole family was invited to attend a small ceremony signifying the completion of another joint organization project. The Clinton Foundation, Greif, Caribbean Harvest, and Operation Blessing joined forces to build a small addition to a community building that Operation Blessing previously built for a small village located on Lake Azuei. The purpose of this addition was to provide more surface area with which to collect rain water for those who live in Medan Belize, Haiti. This group of people live right on the brackish waters of Lake Azuei, which is huge and beautiful, but can do nothing to help meet the fresh water needs of the people. Operation Blessing provided the labor and know how to get the project from vision to realization on the ground here in Haiti. Eric was in charge of implementing the plan on a short deadline. It is always tricky trying to get a project to come together, especially when you are waiting for important supplies in customs!
Many people from these organizations were coming Sunday afternoon to present the project to the village. We showed up Sunday morning to spend the day at the lake while Eric had some last minute things to see to completion. The kiddos had fun swimming with the little kids from the village.
Splashing in Lake Azuei
Lake Azuei, with Dominican Republic mts in the background
Eric spent much of his Thanksgiving weekend altering these tables to hold the big containers that are to catch the fresh rainwater. He worked hard ensuring the details would come together at just the right time. Thankfully, customs cooperated and released the huge water collection containers in time for the installation and the ceremony.
Rainwater Collection Containers
They worked great!
The Operation Blessing water truck was on hand to test the system. They pulled the hose up to the roof to make sure the gutters would capture the water and lead it safely down into the reservoirs.
I am thankful that my husband gets to be a hero to a lot more people than just me. I am thankful that there is another option for the people of Medan Belize to receive fresh water.
Eric hard at work!