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Saturday, May 11, 2019

What does fish have to do with Mother’s Day?

This photo makes this mama's heart happy.
Tomorrow I have the overwhelming and mind-blowing blessing of celebrating Mother’s Day with 229 little ones and then seeing Spencer and Chloe by video later in the day.  But in a couple of weeks I will see my “big kids” face-to-face.

At the end of this month Ian and I will be going to Barcelona to celebrate Spencer’s 25th birthday (he is finishing up his Double Master Degree there so it was a good excuse for a party).   Chloe will join us from Canada and we will be together as a family for the first time in 2019. For the past SEVEN years we have only had one time each year that we were together, and that was at Christmas, but this year we get a special visit, in a very special place.  We were “gifted” this family reunion by a dear family who wanted to show their support for our family, not just support for the organization. WHO DOES THAT?  Jesus does, and He is our provider.

This Mother’s Day is also going to be extra special for a very unique reason – FISH!  On Sunday, May 12th we are going to harvest our very first tilapia fish that we have been growing in the Aquaponics tanks since June 2017.  They arrived as 2.2 cm (1 inch) fingerlings and will be harvested weighing approximately 600-800gram (1.3-1.7 pounds), which is the ideal harvest weight for this particular system. We expect to get around 45KG (100 pounds) of fish on Sunday… if all goes as planned J

Early tomorrow morning Ian and I will go down to help (mostly observe and try to stay out of the way) while the Aquaponics team sorts out the fish that will be eaten in a very special Mother’s Day meal.  We will take them up to the Oasis and show them to all the kids at church, then take them to the commercial kitchen, where they will be cleaned, filleted, breaded and prepared for the first fish that any of our children have ever had.  My mom was a fisherman and taught me to catch/clean/fillet fish as a young girl. She would be SO HAPPY to hear this news.

It is impossible to buy fresh fish in eSwatini, so each time we make a trip to South Africa we are sure to bring our cooler to bring home fresh salmon or trout and put in our freezer.  But tomorrow is a new day and our hope is to be able to harvest 45 KG (100 lbs) of fresh tilapia every two months for our kids to eat. 

And as a special gift to me, this mama also gets to cook down all the heads and bones and make my own fish broth for special seafood soups!  YUM!

As exciting as that all is, the highlight of my day will still be seeing Spencer and Chloe by video call and later being able to see Ian’s Mom (and Dad) and give thanks for the Mother (Bernice Willis) who raised me to be the woman I am today.  Her strength, tenacity, endurance and faith in Jesus continue to live on today here in eSwatini and I only wish she had lived long enough to see ALL of her beautiful Grandchildren.

Happy Mother’s Day to each and every one of you who have given birth, adopted, fostered, be-friended, loved or cared for a child.  May the Lord bless you for sharing HIS heart with them.

Live from eSwatini …time to make some tartar sauce!


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