Good morning, as I gaze out the west window the full moon hangs in all its splendor. As always I stand in awe how it is not altered even a tad in the midst of the rocking changes and uncertainties of the world. Take this, the moon has no light of its own. It merrily reflects the sun. Amazing. That’s just how I want to be- no light of my own, but unshakably reflecting the Lord through the adverse seasons of life.
This brings a question a reader had of whether we know the group of Mennonite people kidnapped in Haiti. I don’t know them personally. My heart especially goes out to the children and baby, wondering what they may be facing. I am comforted to know that God surely is always bigger than any situation and he even cares more than any earthly being.
If I look at the trauma raging on all sides, there is no way of being filled with joy; then as my eyes are turned to the savior I regain a sense of peace that only comes from resting in the one who can keep us safe.
As I hear of those in hostage I think back and retell my children stories of when I was 14 years old and my parents, older brother, and myself took a much anticipated trip to Haiti to visit my uncle and his family who did mission work there for a number of years. My heart still aches at the thought of visiting an orphanage owned by a native; those living conditions remain etched in my mind. The little children could sing like a bird, yet their eyes spoke of the trauma they have been through. Getting a sense of security in not being alone at night, they would huddle together in bed with up to four children in a half bed. Though I knew it was not possible, I would so much have liked to just make life okay for their troubled hearts.
I was drawn by their simple way of life and narrow foot paths connecting the little houses with thatch roofs. Our children dream of going to Haiti and helping someday. For now, our nook is home, maybe one day when the children are older and the way is clear, we’ll attempt it.
With wide open ears they listen how most of these children in Haiti live their lives with a single meal a day, and how they’re content with that. We take the opportunity to explain to them that while we tend to be discontent with our wide range of food options, they are happy with their daily rice and beans and sometimes for a special occasion, a bit of meat or the sauce.
I will inject though, that we have also witnessed that malnutrition due to a lack of even rice and beans. I still go in knots thinking about it. They had no choice of being born in that setting. On several occasions, we were invited to eat with Haitians in their homes. Outside the door of the teeny house where we were eating, little children with big eyes waited, in hopes of eating some leftovers. Etched in my mind are the two little girls who clutched a plate between them, which we handed out to them and took turns taking bites till every last bit was licked clean from the plate.
May I ever thank the Giver of all good things and not be found fussing over food, or anything, for that matter!
I used to think I don’t like rice and beans till I was in Haiti. I truly enjoyed their way of making it. We adopted their recipe, and now enjoy it here in our home.
Haitian Rice with Sauce
3 cups water
1 1/2 cup rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teas chicken base
1/2 teas garlic powder
1 1/2 teas salt
1 cup cooked pinto or black beans (opt)
Pour water, oil, and seasoning into a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil, add rice. Stir then simmer for ten minutes. DO NOT stir while simmering. Remove from heat, cover and let set another ten minutes. Fluff with a spoon and add beans. Spoon onto your plate and ladle a generous serving of the following sauce on top. Very good!
2 cups pizza sauce
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon real lemon
1/2 cup chicken, diced
1/2 cup potatoes, diced
1/2 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 cup cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup onions, chopped
Dump all together in a medium sized sauce pan. Simmer until veggies are tender.
Note: these veggies are all optional, use what strikes your fancy. The Haitians would also mix up a bit of flour with water then form small logs with this dough and toss them into the sauce. When the veggies were done, the dough rolls were also ready! They use ample amounts of garlic in their cooking; feel free to tweak seasonings to taste. I seldom use exact amounts when cooking.