We enjoyed celebrating Mirlanda's birthday in November. Mirlanda had never been able to celebrate her birthday - this was the first time she even really knew that it was her birthday. Out of all the Gracia children that we help with, Mirlanda is the "newest" to our family. She had lived with a godparent until this last summer. Thus, we have only gotten to know her since September when we returned from furlough. She is a sweet, quiet girl.
In preparing for Mirlanda's birthday, I asked her what she wanted. In Haiti, this question always refers to food. Since I usually make spaghetti on Sunday after church, she asked for rice instead. I asked if she wanted beans in the rice. "Yes," she said.
"And sauce, do you want sauce to go on the rice?" (a Haitian staple)
"Yes," she said.
That was it...I asked her what else she wanted and she stopped there. I asked if she wanted juice or pop, and she said juice. When I asked what kind, she gave me a brand name instead of a flavor.
I asked about dessert, and we agreed on a chocolate cake (brownies) like I had made for another recent birthday, after I suggested it.
As I asked her about her birthday meal, I was struck by how little she asked for. When I ask my own children what they want, they can give me a menu for the day - sometimes even down to the snacks! Yet, Mirlanda could only think in terms of rice versus spaghetti.
This being her first birthday celebration, I realized that she had no idea what the limits were, or where she could begin. She could not even fathom what a feast she could ask for. She had never been asked what type of juice she wanted, so all that she knew was the brand. She did not even know she could ask for a specific flavor.
This reminded me of the Sripture, Ephesians 3:20, "to him who is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine..."
Gami & Cathi Ortiz
Best friends; married for 17 years; parents of five wonderful children; living on mission in Haiti since 2013.