In our lifetime, we have the honor of sitting around so many different tables to share a meal with those we love, family and friends or even strangers. My favorite table has to be all the meals our Haiti team shared during our stay this past October. But, the meal in Sous Raille was the most meaningful of all, on so many different levels. While enjoying this amazing meal full of the bounty of this community, I realized, in the midst of this meal, how potentially fragile life is in Sous Raille with poverty and a lifespan for children that is significantly shorter than ours in the United States. This is due lack of consistent nutrition and medical care. Thanks to Rise Against Hunger meals and supplemental fruits and vegetables provided by the Asbury community, overall general health and wellness is improving.
Why was I particularly moved by the meal that was presented to us in Sous Raille? Many, many plentiful plates of delicious food were prepared, not on a five burner stove with ovens, etc., but in a one room shed, with one wood fire, and basically one large pot. This means that cooking took place all day in that pot to create the varied and healthy offerings prepared for us. I am not sure how a bountiful offering could come out of that kitchen. Feeding so many of us was a huge task….and a huge sacrifice too. This poor, tiny community shared what they had. The smiles and love that were presented with each and every dish of food was not lost on me. It was genuine and was created from a heart of love toward these Americans who came to visit their community.
I thought of Jesus’ ministry and how he knew the power of a meal. When we look at the Bible, there are so many examples of how a meal wasn’t about what was placed on the table but WHO was placed at the table. This humble table in Sous Raille, located in a classroom, prepared by hands all day long in a tiny shed over a fire, was how Jesus appeared to this bunch of American travelers. The community of Sous Raille are the Hearts and Hands of Haiti and of Jesus. Jesus used his time at the table to teach and heal and represent grace and mercy. I believe that Jesus chose to change the world by starting inside our own homes and tables. Let’s not rush through our basic need to eat to stem our hunger but use this time to see the love in the preparation, the love in providing, and how Jesus prepares a place for us at His table. What a valuable lesson my Sous Raille friends have shared in the very act of making and sharing a meal. I hope and pray that I prepare a place for Jesus at my table each and every time I meet with others and take the time He took investing in the relationships around the table.
Submitted by Lori Tremper, Asbury Preschool Director