adjective [may-rah-kee] Greek
doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you're doing, whatever it may be.
The word Meraki is the perfect expression of our last months of 2016. Each staff member put their heart and soul into this past DTS lecture phase and we coloured this season in by combining our creativity, gifts and love for God, expressed in loving the ones around us. I have seen the school staff pour out their energy, their time, their smiles and every ounce of care in their systems to serve each students the best way they possibly could. I have seen our base staff do the same towards the school staff and finally this was all possible by seeing our incredible leadership setting the example for us in pouring themselves out into serving us. This season can be summarised as acknowledging God's grace, humbly accepting it and using it as the nutrition needed to plant into our immediate realities in order for God's will to be produced in the fruit of our hearts and how we apply our growth to others.
The final events of 2016
At the end of every lecture phase we host an evening known as the "commissioning dinner" right before the students leave on outreach. On an evening like this the heart is to celebrate the students completing their lecture phase by giving them a semi-formal dinner party. We listen to some of the students' testimonies about their lecture phase experiences and we prayerfully commission them into their next phase- OUTREACH.
I had the honour being the co-ordinator and cook for our commissioning dinner.
Ricotta-sundriedtomato-artichokeheart pastries as an entreé (find the recipe by clicking on the button below)
Rosemary and garlic roast beef, served with garlic red potatoes, buttered green-beans and a mushroom gravy (find the recipe by clicking on the button below)
I had an incredible team that helped me prepare this meal and thanks to them we had no crisis. Not only did everything go smooth, but we also shared laughs and had a lot of fun!
Neighbourhood Christmas party
We held a Christmas party on the 22nd of December for our neighbourhood. As we made a lot of changes on our location and closed our restaurant, it was time to personally communicate to our neighbourhood why we made the changes and who we currently are. We invited everyone we had relationship with in our neighbourhood, provided finger-foods, drinks etc and made ourselves available to share about our team and what God has done in us the past year. We communicated our vision and mission and invited the neighbourhood to give suggestion on how we could serve them better. The evening went well and was all together a cozy, relational evening and a beautiful success.
Christmas adventures with the Sisters Webb
We had two lovely ladies, Kristin and Beth Webb, visit us for Christmas this year. They are the sisters of our one and only Carrie Webb and the three of them are a brilliant combination made up of comedy, laughing, a lot of crazy inside jokes and references to all kinds of movies and TV shows I have never heard of! We had heaps of fun together and their visit was like a breath of fresh air in the middle of a very busy time!
As we had the school still running throughout the holiday season, we had a big Christmas party on Christmas eve. We had a big family meal, sang some carols and handed out "secret Santa" gifts.
After the DTS left for outreach just after Christmas, we had a whole week to explore Paris with Beth and Kristin. On of the places we visited was Musée de l'Orangerie.
Musée de l'Orangerie
This museum holds eight of the impressionist Monet's waterlily paintings. What made these paintings so incredible is that Monet took over 30 years painting these masterpieces. The reason for that is that he bent the canvasses to fit an oval angle in order for the paintings to form 2 large oval rooms. He designed each painting to have a different visual effect depending on which one of the 4 doors you enter the room. It that isn't incredible enough, he also painted it in such a way that every form of weather, be it sunny or cloudy, would make a different visual effect!! He also was very involved in the design of the museum building. We are talking ARTISTIC GENIUS! It was breathtaking to stand before these masterpieces and you can not help but feel honour for this man's talent.
After Beth and Kristin left for the USA, Jessica, Carrie and I spent a quiet New Years eve together before leaving for Biarritz on the 1st of January for a short break-away.
Our base-leader taught on the Footballers DTS in Biarritz (another YWAM Base in France) and seeing that only me and Jessica would be left on base, we decided to join her in Biarritz to have a time of rest and preparation for 2017
It was good for us to get out of Paris for a while and enjoy the feel of coast-town
My personal art
For those of you who have known me for a long time know I am artistic, but you would also know that I haven't been doing art for a while now. Well I have been bit by the art bug again and so I am exploring and engaging with the artistic side of me yet again. I am currently very into florals and it seems to be the only thing that flows out of me whether I draw, paint of carve.
I used to do linoleum printmaking in high school and have recently decided to try it again. I love everything about it!! One uses carving tools to carve designs from linoleum blocks and then use ink to make prints with the carvings. It challenges me to experiment with patterns, textures and light and pushes me as an artist to grow in new ways of creating art.