Kethlin, the First 1,000 Days Manager, and I had the privilege to present a Hospitality Conference on September 1 for all of the First 1,000 Days Staff. It was from 8:00-3:00 on our main campus in Sylvain. It was a day filled with scripture, prayer, worship, teaching, laughter, and joy. Powerful testimonies were shared about how God has shown up at each center and personally. Kethlin shared the importance of hospitality from scripture and how we must walk it out humbly as we serve the mamas and babies. I had the joy of sharing about our identity in Christ, how God sees us, who the scriptures proclaim we are, and that God’s love gives us the love to share daily in our program. The joy was overflowing, preparing our hearts for the new year that started on September 5th.
We shared simple but profound actions that show hospitality to the mamas. We all were challenged how to set up a welcoming environment or how a smile greeting someone can change their day. Scripture states they will know we are Christians by our love. We were reminded to think how loving a person is showing hospitality. I am mindful that loving others are acts of hospitality.
Above: Melissa pictured with Maliarette staff.
Below: A time of prayer. Each department had about 25 minutes to pray together, lifting up specific requests and prayers of thanks.
Below: Staff taking notes during the training. Many stated they will take this day of encouragement not only for the First 1,000 Days program but also back to their churches and homes.
One day as I was leaving the porch of our guest house, I noticed a man working with his machete ( manchèt) to shape and fit a piece of wood into a broken chair (chez). His name is Divenel Daniel.
He has been making these chairs as a source of income for a number of years and had come on this particular day to repair one. These are sometimes used as a gift for a family having a new home built by Many Hands or another family or individual in need.
A closer look at several chairs makes you realize that each chair has its own unique pieces of wood, its own woven pattern, and its own character, yet still fulfilling the same basic function. Divenel’s work reminds me of a similar elegance and diversity we see in God’s design in creation. I loved exploring this as a science teacher.
Pictured below: Beatrice and Evenie spend much of their time in the short chairs preparing food for guests.