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Monday, November 24, 2014

Recipe for Chocolate Mint Ice Cream. . .African Style!

A couple weeks ago someone out in the village gave Amber a couple of coconuts. It's getting pretty hot here, so we got the brilliant idea to make sorbet. We made our own coconut milk/cream, added lemon from our tree and some fresh squeezed orange juice, and we had some pretty good sorbet. 

The only problem was the recipe we used called for way to much sugar. So we really needed to try making it again to see if we could perfect the recipe. Amber graciously volunteered her chocolate chips (yes, we ration those out here!) and we decided this time to make chocolate mint with coconut milk.

Fresh from the market, the mint is on the right. We also bought basil, coriander, and spring onions that day.

Here are the two coconuts we bought off the side of the road. Because neither of us need to be using a machete (trust me on this one), we had the lady cut off the tops because we needed to save the water.

Once we got home, we poured out the coconut water. Next step. . .

. . .crack open that coconut. Thankfully no fingers or toes were lost in this attempt!

But you can tell I'm being very careful. How someone can chop open a coconut open in their hand with a machete,
I will never know! (or try!)

Amber takes a whack at it.

Voila! We can now get to the coconut meat!

Next you scrape out all of the coconut flesh.

And in the meantime, make a syrup with sugar and water. . .
. . . and our mint leaves!

We added the coconut water to the coconut flesh. . .

And blended it up.

This time it came out a bit more watery than the first time, but we still ran it through a sieve, and came up with. . .

Really smooth coconut cream!!

Not wanting to be wasteful, Aria got in on the action and was grateful for the husk.

THIS is what was left when she was done with it!

Once everything was mixed together, we put it in the freezer.

Once it was pretty frozen we added those chocolate chips. . .and. . .

Here is our chocolate mint ice cream Africa style!!!

Now this is perfect for a hot Africa summer day! We've decided we still haven't quite perfected the recipe, but that just means we'll have to do a bit more experimenting! When we cut down on the sugar we should have cut down the water as well, because this time it's a bit more icy and less creamy, but we're not complaining at all. It's so yummy and refreshing. We also learned that using real mint leaves and not just a flavoring definitely gives you a different 'mint' taste, but in a good way!

Happy summer from our side of the world!

Amber and Lisa

Friday, November 14, 2014

Good parts and tough parts

Life has been full lately. Of writing and ministry. Of warm summer days that are slowly getting hotter. Of heartache over a number of difficult situations friends are facing. And of excitement over our new church plant and seeing God's hand at work around us.

Scott has been in the US the last month, sharing our ministry with churches and individuals. (You can watch our short 2014 video below if you missed it.) I've been holding down the fort here in Mozambique with Amber, our wonderful intern, and the support of the Christians here. Yes, I'm feeling a bit spread out at the moment and can't wait for our family to be back together! (Minus Gabe who will spending the holiday's with my mother which is bittersweet for me as a mama.)

The tough parts?

  • Learning of the death of a young boy we'd tried to help in the past. He was an orphan battling with HIV and living with extended relatives. 
  • Another young man, Fransisco, is thirteen and recently diagnosed with a genetic disease. He is going blind. The ECHO Project is planning on sponsoring him to go to the country's only blind school about twelve hours north of us.
  • A young mother we've been working with is struggling with TB and because of that, her children can't live with her. Several of us visited her today to pray with her and encourage her, then went to visit her three month old baby and two other children. We were so thrilled to see the baby thriving, something that her mother is so grateful for. The ECHO Project is providing formula for the baby who is being cared for by relatives, and food baskets for the mother.

She smiled the the whole time we were there and told us she was
 still beautiful and was going to stay strong in her new faith!

The good parts?

  • Many of you know that Amber English is working alongside us for the next few months. She has just posted a moving new post on her blog. It's definitely worth reading! You can find it on her blog here! I so appreciate her tender heart and love for the people here!

  • A team from three of our churches went last weekend to the new church plant in Matimbine. (Amber shares more of this in her blog post) We are so excited to God moving among these beautiful people!

  • On a more personal note, this morning I was thrilled to wake up to an email this week with an acceptance letter for Gabriel to one of the Universities top on his list! He's planning to major in Bible and Phycology. So proud of him and excited to see what God will do through him in the months and years to come.

As I scroll through my Facebook feed and watch the news, I'm reminded that there will always be good parts and tough parts of life. But I was also reminded this morning of this verse from the Psalms.
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14 NLT

May He be our constant rock through this life.

Be a blessing today!


PS Below is our short, 2014 video if you haven't seen it yet!

AOM 2014 from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Looking for a unique Christmas gift?

We have a limited number of 2015 African Safari calendars for a donation of only $20 each! ALL profits go to support The ECHO Project which is making a difference in the lives of individuals in Mozambique, Africa. 
This year, because of donations, we were able to help:
*Provide two eye exams in the capital and a pair of prescriptions eye glasses.
*Transport to the capital and housing for Janu's brain surgery
*School supplies and uniforms
*Monthly food packets to families carrying for orphans and sick caregivers.
*Medical supplies like blood pressure medicine, vitamins, worm medicine, and other basic medicine
*Soccer uniforms for a youth community program
*Building of a house for a woman carrying for her orphaned grandchildren
And more!
Please email your mailing address here (US addresses only) and how many you would like. You can pay via check or paypal! For more information about The ECHO Project you can visit our website!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mid-term fun!

Wow, time continues to fly by! I flew to Kenya this past week to see my kiddos and was shocked to see the airport all decorated for Christmas. Really? I'm honestly not sure where this year has gone, and I'm certainly not ready for it to be over. At least not until I finish tackling my to-do list.

I wanted to share a few photos from my weekend with the kids. The students all leave campus for a long weekend every term, so I flew up to be with them this past weekend. We hung out with the Taylor family (missionaries in Zambia) at a missionary guest house along with a couple other students we adopted for the weekend had a great time. (I'll post some photos below!)

Jennifer Taylor wrote a fantastic post on our adventurous weekend experience, so I thought I'd share it with you. It's well written and also has a great insight into our lives as missionary moms, especially when our kids attend boarding school.

You can read her blog post Get on the Matatu here.

Lastly, we headed out to the beach today for six baptisms! It was a really special morning to see so many familiar faces give their lives to Christ! I've posted those photos on our FB ministry page.

Enjoy the photos!


Traveling in Africa. There's always room for one more person or one more bag!

We went to a house for Ethiopian food and had a great experience. Very different food!

Ah. . .no those are not sombreros, boys!

The bread is the white stuff and all the sauces are laid on top.

These boys were never dull!

My daughter's fav? Planet Yogurt!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Life in Pictures: Catching up

I received a message from a sweet friend yesterday who asked me if I was still writing blog posts. I told    her that I was planning to post something soon, but that the past few weeks had been extra busy, and I just hadn't had a chance. What I didn't realize was that it had been over two months since I've posted anything!

I hope you enjoy a brief overview in photos of our life in Africa from the past two months. The hardest part was sending our three kiddos off to school the end of August for another year, but not only are they all doing well, God has also done some incredible things during this time in the ministry here on the home front, and we are so grateful! We are also very grateful to everyone who has come to Mozambique and worked beside us these past few weeks! It's been a whirlwind!

I am working on putting together some more detailed videos to share as Scott will be back in the US fundraising for AOM in November. I will share those here as well for those who are interested.

Lastly, on top of family and ministry, I'm somehow managing to keep up with my (tight) writing deadlines! I'm super excited about book three in my Southern Crimes series, Hidden Agenda, that will be available in January. Taken, another romantic suspense, set in Paris (my favorite city in the world!) comes out in February. And in the meantimes, I'm currently finishing up book one in a brand new series for my publisher that will come out fall 2015. All I can say is life is never boring!

That's it for now. Enjoy!

A group of the disciple went to our new church plant in
Matimbine (about an hour from where we live) to start work on a church structure.

Along with starting the structure, they also taught and worshiped together.

In July we also had twelve baptisms in Magola!

While Mariah was home, she spent a lot of time with the kids out in the village.
On her last day out, she brought them all new shirts which was a big hit!

A group of men from Shekinah House in South Africa came to help finish the structure
in Matimbine and camped out in the village for a couple nights.

Also in July, Richard Howard from the US came to teach. While we typically
hold an English Camp this time of year, we instead did a four day discipleship camp to
further ground our Christians in the word and how to share their faith. 

We had people come both from town and from the villages.

We have seen a renewed commitment and focus on evangelism from those who attended!

After dropping the kids off for school the end of August, we headed to Zimbabwe with Jack English from the US
and his daughter Amber. Amber will be staying with us for the next 8-9 months as an intern. Scott and Jack
spent for days teaching leaders from Zimbabwe and Zambia in our yearly training. I was able to go this year and
loved being able to spend time with these wonderful church leaders!

Four people came from Katy, Texas to work with our ministry in September and even
spent two nights camping out in the village!

They quickly bonded with many of the people.

During their time in the village, ten gave their lives to Christ and were baptized in the river.

Here Diane and Janet are teaching at our weekly women's bible study in the village.

The women loved the lesson and painting coffee filters to look like butterflies!

Showing off their butterflies.

We have also been able to bless a number of people via contributions to The ECHO Project.
If you saw the story of Joao earlier earlier, you might remember that he was suffering from his
skin rotting away. We have been blessed by those who have stepped up to help care for him
 and he is doing much better!

We were able to give food to the mother of this newborn and are
continuing to provide the baby with formula as her mother can't breast feed.

We are currently giving out five monthly food baskets to help
families in need and those who are taking care of orphans.

Visiting the mother in her compound and praying with her. After several
visits she gave her life to Christ!
ECHO Project funds also went to build this house for one of
the Christians in the village. She cares for her orphaned grandchildren
and had to move out of the home where she was living.
She will also be one who will help us as needed to take in people
who need temporary help and housing as a trial project we hope to expand.

Be blessed today!