Little did I know when I offered to help with catering that I wouldn’t be just helping serve the food at dedication of the hospital. Friday afternoon, I arrived for my 1:00 catering meeting to find out there really wasn’t a meeting. Instead I ended up with a dull knife, a bunch of potatoes to peel, and an opportunity to spend the afternoon with some of the Liberian ladies who work at our office. They each had their role. Some worked on the chicken legs. Others peeled onions and potatoes. Still others washed dishes and did other tasks. The ladies talked, sang, and laughed. They worked with a joyful heart and willing spirit.
Here is one of the ladies mixing the spices with chicken legs.
After about an hour of peeling, I took a break to go get my potato peeler. It helped me avoid a blister and peel the potatoes a lot faster. I only stayed for a few hours, but these ladies and some guys stayed all night at the office doing food prep for the event. The next morning when I came back to continue helping, I found out that they had only slept two hours.
My job on Saturday morning was to help grill the hot dogs. Once again, I made a trip home to get some tongs since they were using paper towels to turn the hot dogs. It is amazing how they are able to make do. For a can opener, they used a knife. They don’t really measure ingredients but instinctively know how much of each thing to put in each dish. All the food was cooked on charcoal burners. (see pictures below) Even the oven was a tall box heated by charcoal. They are resourceful and creative but more importantly the food tastes great.
The menu for the day was fried chicken legs, Liberian rice, potato salad, plantain chips, coleslaw, hot dogs, and a few other things. We served at least 500 people during that event. I helped man the drink table with the help of a young man. Three of my students helped make sure the servers had enough food. Then there were many Liberian staff from the office who volunteered their time to help direct traffic, serve food, and clean up. Sometime it is easy to forget the behind the scenes people, but it is often these people that make an event go smoothly. I am thankful for these ladies and men who did a great job making the dedication meal a success. I am also thankful that they let me serve beside them and were so gracious to me.
The hospital dedication went well. Here is a good summary of the event. with some great pictures. Noel flew Franklin Graham up to Foya and back on Friday. He enjoyed discussing aviation with him during the flight since Franklin is also a pilot.
Pray for the hospital as it opens that it will bring both physical and spiritual healing. Pray that for the staff that they will be willing to learn.