Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Figs and Advent

Posted this on facebook, but I realize some people who may read this blog don't have facebook. So, here ya go.

How did a jar of fig jam help me reflect on Advent? Perhaps only my family will appreciate this, but here goes.

Recently I found for the first time in four years a jar of Fig Jam in the big store in Chimoio. When I brought it back to Amatongas I couldn't resist heating up some of our homemade rolls and eating the figs and hot bread. This may not seem like much to most of you, but I know my family will appreciate this for sure. You see, from my earliest days visiting my Grandma Sweeney (Ella) in Lake Charles one of the real pleasures in life was to sit at the counter breakfast table and be served up hot biscuits and homemade fig preserves, and no one made them like Grandma. As I was reflecting on this fact this week I had another realization and appreciation of Grandma. She was someone completely and sincerely selfless, a gentle and holy soul. She always, every minute, lived and worked to make you happy and full. To this day no one can duplicate her chicken gumbo, potato salad, fig preserves and many others, but I don't think it had anything to do with the recipe. It was all about her putting her whole self into what she was doing. Now, how does this relate to Advent you ask? I think it means everything. As we begin this period of waiting on the ultimate selfless example and gift of Jesus Christ into our lives, we must spend time in prayer and reflection on how we can become more selfless, recalling those in our lives who lived and live it everyday, people who are examples of the Heart of Christ in our lives, God with us now. Beyond her food, I remember as if it were yesterday, Grandma would tell me, "you know I pray for you everyday." I have no doubt she did and continues to do so in heaven.

Early Christmas Gift

Thanks to a generous donation in the memory of the mother and father of Br. Noel Lemmon, SC, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Louis Lemmon, Sr., we now have a new roof on the building we are renovating to one day use as a new dorm. The roof was installed in just two weeks and is made of only metal materials. The two big rooms could house around 50-60 new boarders. However, as you can see there's plenty of work left to do. New windows, doors, electricity, floors and of course new beds and lockers will be installed during the 2015 school year, or as we get funds to complete the work. We are very thankful though that the hardest part of the job is done and just before the rainy season. 

The new roof looks great,
but the floor really looks like it went through a war

Just lacking new windows and doors now

A new front wall had to be built to support the roof on one section

Just in case you forgot what it looked like before

This outdoor bathroom next to the new dorm could be renovated as well

It even has some nice tile 

The old toilets need a little work though