Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More South African Fellowship

Our South African missionary friends were here again on Monday evening for a meal and fellowship.  What a treat it’s been to see them twice in one month!  I always appreciate our times together – they’re incredibly-fascinating and mentally-stimulating events.  But most of all, I love that our discussions are so full of the Lord and of His grace. 

Later in the evening, I threw in a thought-provoking exercise that was inspired by a hospitality book that I browsed through recently.  On slips of paper were written questions – 1 question per paper – and tossed into a paper bag.  We each took turns choosing one and answering it.  I especially appreciated my boys’ answers – what joy to hear what God is doing in their individual lives.  Below you’ll find some of the questions we answered, plus a few more.  You can use similar questions or make up others tailored to your group.

- Tell us about something the Lord has taught you over the last year.
- Share a piece of wisdom you learned from your parents.
- Name someone, living or dead, that you would like to have a conversation with and why.
- What do you most look forward to doing in Heaven?
- What is your favorite Scripture verse or passage and why?
- Other than Jesus, who is your favorite Bible character and why?
- Which is your favorite Bible story and why?
- Tell of a specific time in your life when you saw God’s faithfulness at work.
- Name a person in your life who has greatly inspired you and why.
- Name a characteristic or attribute of God for which you are especially thankful and why.

After our friends left, I found it difficult to sleep as my head was swimming with bits and pieces of our tabletop discussion.  Thoughts of:

* the various African animals we learned about and the amazing creativity of the God Who made them
* how our friend was inspired by his mentor, a man of God who would drop to his knees anywhere at anytime and talk with His Savior
* Christmas customs in South Africa – beachtime, cold foods, English trifle and Christmas crackers – still much British influence!
* the different perspectives and takes that the Africans sometimes have on Scripture passages – very different from our Western thinking
* the significance of sacrifice in various religions
* the fact that the Xhosa word for “knock-knock,” which you say before entering a home, actually resembles the sound of a door-knocker!
* what life was like on a South African farm when our friend was a boy
* the importance of dealing with the heart and the motives therein instead of trying to fix outward symptoms – whether American hearts or African ones!

And, of course, I must include our supper menu below where you’ll find two recipes I’ve not included on the blog before:

Tossed Salad with Slivered Almonds
Big, Soft Dinner Rolls
Applesauce – Warm and Cold
Cranberry Relish
Peanut Butter Pie
Iced Water & Hot Coffee

Cranberry Relish – This recipe comes from my friend, Lois, along with some adaptations.  (For more recipes, homemaking tips and encouragement, visit Lois’ blog here.)

1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
1 large can crushed pineapples, in its own juice, undrained
1 large jar natural applesauce (no sugar added)
Zest for 1 orange (I didn’t include this.)
1 cup orange juice
Stevia to sweeten (I used 1 tabl. of Splenda.)

Chop washed and drained cranberries in a food processor, removing the soft and mushy ones first.  Add undrained pineapples, applesauce, zest, orange juice and sweetener.  Though I didn't, you can refrigerate 1 to 2 days before serving, so flavors and color intensify.  (NOTE:  I don’t have a food processor, so I used a hand chopper to finely chop the cranberries.  After taste-testing the relish, the boys liked the flavor but not the texture.  They ran the whole bowl of relish through the blender then stuck it in the freezer for about 1 ½ hours until there was a frosty slush around the edges.  They declared it just right then!)

Peanut Butter Pie
1 – 8 oz. cream cheese
1 ½ C. 10X sugar
1 C. peanut butter
1 C. milk
1 – 16 oz. Cool Whip
2  large graham cracker crusts or 3 smaller ones

Beat cream cheese and sugar very well in a mixer.  Blend in peanut butter and milk.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Cover and freeze.

(Napkin-folding and photos compliments of Eli.)


Vicki said...

Sounds like a delightful evening. Thanks for sharing the recipes!

Anonymous said...

I plan to use those conversation questions in the future when we have a church friends' fellowship in our home... I really like this idea!