Posted in Matters of the Heart

Building Hope

We sat on the floor of the newly constructed tiny house eating fried chicken legs. This was the first meal this little home would see. In a collaboration with families from California and a minister in Mexico, a young family would move from their cardboard hut to a house with screens on the windows to keep the flies out and a floor that didn’t turn to mud when it rained. It was an occasion to celebrate, the chicken along with tortillas and fresh salsa—our feast.

The day started early as we pulled up to the dirt lot where the house would be built. In anticipation of the new home that would stand in that location, red geraniums had been planted bring a pop of joy to the otherwise drab landscape.

Once decided where the house would stand, a frenzy of hammering and painting mixed with conversations in broken Spanglish and the laughter that comes with it began.  The whole process became the conduit for two cultures to come together.  And, as the house went up, so did hope for a better life.

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When noontime drew near, more friends and family arrived to witness the ‘house-raising’ and prepare a meal for its workers. The ‘kitchen’ in which the chicken was cooked that day was an open fire in the yard. This was where all the cooking happened for this family, and they were experts in dealing with open flame, creating chicken that was crispy, moist, and delicious. Every bite was savored, leaving nothing but the empty bowl at the end of the meal.

The experience of working side-by-side would change communities both sides of the border. The house, as great a thing as it was, was not the star of the day. Relationships were built with each nail that was hammered. Memories were created, and when looking back, they would be listed as some of the best.

We have always held to the hope, the belief,

the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

 


 

Fried Chicken

The fried chicken served on this day was literally just chicken fried in oil over the open flame. No flour dredge. No nothing. But, YES on delicious.

! Not keen on boiling oil over an open fire? Simply bake or grill your chicken with a little seasoning for a yummy outcome.

Pico de Gallo

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • freshly squeezed lime juice to taste
  • salt to taste

Combine ingredients and chill for an hour.

Flour Tortillas

This a new recipe I tried using a food processor and a tortilla press.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1.  Place all ingredients into food processor. Pulse several times until a soft dough ball is formed.
  2. Remove, cover, and let rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Divide into eight pieces.
  4. Press each piece between parchment paper with tortilla press. Reposition a quarter turn and press again.
  5. Cook over medium heat in lightly oiled skillet about 1 minute each side, or until lightly browned.

Enjoy!


img_20130406_134407_508See more about this ministry at Hands of Mercy.

 

Author:

Patty Schell will tell you she’s been writing since she could spell and string words together, but it hasn’t been until recent years she has been able to make it a regular practice. Her role as women’s leader in her local church provided a platform to teach, blog, and now, write. Her latest project, Living NOW series is one that was born from a desire to encourage the women she was teaching to know God through His Word, giving them a practical way to study the Bible for themselves. At present, Patty is a contributor to a variety of web-based publications including Refresh Magazine, Broken but Priceless Magazine, Life Letter Café, and SoCal Voice. In addition, she connects with her readers with regular posts on her two blogs, Girl on Adventure: Embracing the Journey Called Life and The Party’s in the Kitchen: Cooking Up Good Times in the Heart of the Home. Much of Patty’s writing is inspired by the full life she leads alongside her family and friends. She constantly looks for good reasons to gather people together, loves serving her community, and enjoys getting to know new places and cultures. Through these activities and others in life, God reveals His stories of faith, hope and love, and Patty means to tell others about them every chance she gets.

6 thoughts on “Building Hope

  1. Patty,
    Absolutely beautiful the way You along with Hands of Mercy are showing Christ’s love and hope to families in need.
    “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who tells of peace and brings good news of happiness, who tells of saving power, and says to Zion, “Your God rules!” Isaiah 52:7

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Beckie. I agree. Each time I participate, I feel as though I’m attending the best worship service ever. Perhaps the sounds of hammers are music to God’s ears. I pray it is.

      Like

  2. Patty,
    I am really enjoying your emails and your postings with Hands of Mercy. What a wonderful experience and way of helping others. I certainly would love to be a part of this, but for now, I think I can only donate. I’m working full-time now at St. Mary’s and going to school as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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