Some people love on you with food. Their affection is demonstrated by sharing culinary delights. When we first arrived here, a lady named Sandy drove from the other side of town to bring us homemade American style chilli. Yum! At that time, I couldn't even find the ingredients for chilli, and I definitely didn't know how to make it from scratch! I never forgot that. Her chilli meant more to me than a full tummy. She gave us a food hug.

Some people love on you with gifts. They show affection by picking out the perfect thing that would make a person smile, and giving it when it is least expected. When I was venturing into "from scratch cooking," a lady named Tahonna dropped off a milk pot. She had purchased one so I could learn how to safely prepare fresh milk. Yesterday, on Independence Day, the same sweet lady brought me Fourth of July pot holders.

Another lady, Tracy, gave me a kitchen towel for Easter... Just because! And yesterday she gave me a whole bag of pepperoni from America! Yes, she, too, loves on people with little tokens and treasures.

But what about me? I am pretty domestically challenged when it comes to cooking. I am improving, but I can't say that when I think of showing affection that food is the first thing on my mind. I am too scared it will be terrible! And I am terrible at finding gifts for people. Ask Jason! I can come up with great gift ideas, but actually picking it out is torture. Some of it may have to do with the fact that I hate to shop. No, giving gifts are not my favorite way to show affection.

So, how do I show affection? Opening my home... And saying my house is your house. From the moment a person walks into our home until the time they leave, I want them to be blessed. Sometimes it is for a meal. I will give it my best shot to make that meal a blessing to you. Sometimes it is for a party. I will pour hours into making it an adventurous party. I love on people with balloons and games and confetti.

Yesterday, we invited travelling friends from all over the valley to our home to celebrate July 4th, Independence Day. I wanted to show my appreciation and thankfulness to these people who have sacrificed and labored here. They have given everything to show the love of Christ to this nation.

So, for me, yesterday wasn't just about balloons and banana splits. It was little whispers of, "I love you."

We started out with some snacks. I meant to just have a few snacks, but I just kept adding to the food list. Then some people pitched in and brought things for the party, too. Before I knew it, we had a major spread!

Then we played a game of Get to Know You Bingo. I had it all printed out ahead of time. I asked everyone to send me clues about themselves that was somehow related to America. Turns out, there are some really interesting people here! One is even related to the colonel who commanded the soldiers at the Alamo!

The winner of the game got a prize... a Tastes of America basket. This is like a treasure chest for people in foreign countries. The basket contained sausage seasoning, ranch dip packets, M&Ms, and a large bottle of Texjoy steak seasoning (a little piece of heaven on earth! HA!)

Then we had a time of prayer, the Pledge of Allegience, singing, and a devotion. One person said that was the first completely English devotion/sermon he had heard in over a year. He said it really touched his heart. (To God be the glory!)

After that... BANANA SPLITS! Everyone pitched in and brought toppings for this one.

We had a cake walk,

and THEN....

Time for the long-awaited confetti popper game!

It was guys against girls. To earn the points (and the right to pop a popper filled with confetti and candy) a player had to either answer a trivia question about a state, or complete a task like charades or pictionary... of course related to the state.

 

This game brought out the competitive side of many people.

The competition was HEATED! But... THE GIRLS WON!

I hope everyone enjoyed themselves, but I also truly hope everyone of them saw "I love you" written in confetti, balloons, and banana splits.