Several people call to say they are praying for us. We appreciate that - and make prayer for others part of our daily routines. (This from Pursuit Church online. Good one, Angela.)
Monday, December 3, 2018
We settle back into our city - with early conference calls, meetings, and unpacking. Of course, we have to go to the grocer: our fridge is pretty empty. The organic hydroponics delivery comes: 5 heads of lettuce and kale @$3.50, delivered. That won't be enough for movie night, but it's a good start. I count on the Monday "green" drop-off to fill our vegetable crisper for the week.
We're doing "Art as Worship" - on the Advent Sunday themed JOY. I look through some easy crafts, relaxing and getting back into my own body.
W heads for town for some groceries from the wholesaler. I'll be cooking tomorrow but I'm not in the mood today - I don't even want to think about a menu. We head to the office for our weekly meeting; there's a lot to discuss and a few things to decide for the Christmas festivities ahead.
Movie night tonight. Which means that whatever awful hour I wake up, I look at our groceries and decide what to make for dinner ... for about 70 people.
- spaghetti: first thing in the morning, I cook 3 kg of spaghetti, slather it with olive oil, and close the pot with a lid. It gets heated just before serving.
- sausages in coconut curry - I bake the sausages, then make the curry and combine it in a big turkey roaster
- nangka (jackfruit): picked yesterday and steamed by the helper. The glue-like sap requires gloves or newspaper under the hand as a barrier when it is peeled. It's not sticky after steaming. I open a package of pineapple sauce, add chili seeds and smoke flavor and a few more odds and ends. The foreigners love it; the local can't figure it out.
- baso balls in Italian sauce: they look like meatballs and are usually eaten in soup. They're so filler-heavy that it's more like gnocchi with super-fine-ground meat. I boil them, bake them with sauce, and cut them up, before heating them in the late afternoon
- the helpers make rice and cut fruit - and do the dishes I didn't get around to
- chicken wings - already spiced, these just need to be baked
- green salad - bright bowls of leaves, tiny carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and cabbage with a sesame seed dressing
A bunch have December birthday, so they get to go first in the food line.
We do our traditional readings, which we used to do with our whole family at Christmas. Each reader speaks clearly and gets a cheer at the end. And then we watch "Elf." Silly. Fun. With a message.
About 3/4 of the attendees are well known to us - we consider them our family. But there are many new people tonight as well. One student from Kazakhstan brings his guest over to introduce us. He laughs: "He didn't know why you were having so many people over. He didn't believe that you would feed us. And he didn't think it would be this much fun."
I ask the guest if he had a good time. He says he had a fantastic time. And he says he'll be back in January. Well, he will if he can sign up on time. Like the others who are practically shouting their conversations by the end, he finds friends, becomes part of several conversations, and can't wait to return.
At 10:30pm, the helpers desert us after wrapping up the garbage and mopping the floor - they'll be back to clean up properly tomorrow. (They're our lifeline - no way we could do this without staff.)
It's hilarious: in this selfie culture, the reaction to someone holding a camera is like tossing food in a koi pond. They swarm into the picture and make cute faces. I have to laugh.
I'm awake at 4:30 with a headache. I took a melatonin pill before sleep, forgetting that it always gives me a headache without any sleep benefit whatsoever. Anyone want the bottle? It's yours.
Might as well get to work. I clear out emails, have my devotions, and start sorting through the to-dos. ohhhh! I have a WhatsApp request from the masseuse - should she come today? She's in town. At $13 for 2 hours ... yes please, I'll splurge. It's just what I need after the long flights and yesterday's cooking marathon. My shoulders go down a little bit.
*Jesus says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Luke 21:33
This week's readings — Jeremiah 33:14–16; Psalm 25:1–10
1 Thessalonians 3:9–13; Luke 21:25–36
1 Thessalonians 3:9–13; Luke 21:25–36
*Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols. Ezekiel 14:6
*The scribe said to Jesus, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Mark 12:32-33
Moravian Prayer: Truest Love, our hearts cannot express our praise for you. Lead us away from the idols we falsely love. Steer us toward your desire for our lives and fill us with the desire to love you, your creation, our neighbors and ourselves. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.