The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.” John 21: 17
Well, this Biblical passage came to life for me this past weekend in a very particular way. As it happened, rather unexpected guests arrived to our house on Friday evening to spend the weekend with us. They were Hector (19) and Carmela (22). They both recently arrived from Honduras to spend the summer at a Biblical Camp not far from our home. The purpose of their visit is for them to be mentored as future leaders and missionaries to far away lands. Their trip to the USA is meant to provide them with the opportunity to know what it feels like to be abroad and to learn as much English as possible while familiarizing themselves with American culture and people.
Needless to say, Hector and Carmela are overwhelmed. Their lack of functioning English skills topped by the fact that they had never gone further than 100 miles away from their remote hometown on the Caribbean coast of Honduras are the perfect ingredients for a recipe that would make one’s heart explode.
That evening, as they sat on my couch, listening to our stories spoken to them in their native Spanish, I saw nothing but two of God’s precious lambs. The smiles on their faces showed the signs of relief. They were finally able to relax after a couple of weeks of being bombarded by unknown stimuli. They related to us the stories of how, by God’s great providence, they were able to come on this trip. God surely paved the way for them to come to the States to do His Holy work. They speak in praise to the Most High and see His hands on everything that is happening to them. Regardless of how tough the experience is, they accept the challenge graciously and move ahead to figure out God’s plan for them.
We also talked about the food they eat back home in Honduras. So they both jumped at the opportunity to explain their favorite dish: “baleada.” I had no clue what that was, but they promptly described the simple treat as refried beans spread on a flour tortilla topped with white cheese. We talked about the cheese, since I knew that particular white cheese they were talking about is not readily found around here, and also how they make their own flour tortillas and use fresh beans. They told me how “baleada” is almost an anytime food staple. They would eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
At any rate, next day, we went to the place every visitor from abroad needs to know in the USA, Super Walmart : )
While they browsed around, I picked out some groceries. I figured I could maybe provide an American version of "baleada" for them, so I got prepackaged flower tortillas, canned refried beans and Monterrey cheese. I knew it would be a poor version, but I decided it would be worth the shot.
For breakfast on Sunday before church, I heated the beans and laid out the tortillas and the cheese on the counter. When they came downstairs, I told them we were going to make “gringo baleadas.” : ) Their eyes said it all. I suggested we heated the tortillas on a skillet, but they said, “Microwave is faster!” I suggested we heat up 4 tortillas, Hector asked me, “aren’t you having any?” : ) At that point I knew it was best just to leave them to the baleadas , so I moved on to pancakes : )
It was such a treat to see them enjoy their breakfast. A little taste of home even if pre-packaged at a Walmart store.
Later for dinner, I made some mac and cheese, chicken and some other stuff, laid it all out on the counter top again, and pulled out the cooked rice I had in the fridge, ‘cause I gotta my rice! Carmela and Hector had not mentioned rice as a favorite food, which I thought was strange since most Spanish speaking people love rice. I was kind of hurt at that…rice and I have a very special relationship : ) But I got over it and I figured it’s OK if not everyone cares for rice as much as I do. I heated it up anyway, and set it on the counter as well. They went straight for it.
“We haven’t had rice in two weeks!” They both exclaimed as they dug into their steamy treat. “They never cook rice at the camp,” they uttered with their mouths full : )
I sat back, smiled and enjoyed my rice all the more.
It was sad to see them leave on Sunday evening when the Camp Counselor came to pick them up, very punctually. We hugged and said, “see you later,” for we surely would love to host them again soon. They brought the blessing of the Lord to our home. He has great plans for them, and we are honored He has chosen us to be part of such a plan…even if our part is only to offer them some beans, tortillas and of course, rice!
Linking with: Mondays Musings
Linking with: Mondays Musings