As a career military family, we set up housekeeping no fewer than 8 times in those 20 years!! Finding a new church was always high on the priority list because we knew the one for us would supply friends, & Christ followers, who would give us a sense of home & family away from the ones we left behind in Mississippi.
The friendliness of the folks was our first impression of whether a church would be considered as our place to settle in & serve the Lord wherever Uncle Sam sent us.
We were stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, LA some 20+ years ago. As we visited one particular church, my husband & I had the perception that it was a very friendly. In reality, as we looked back, we realized that only ONE person was mainly responsible for this.
My friend Kim made it her priority to find us in each service & engage us in conversation. She was interested to see how the unpacking was going. She brought HER friends over to us to meet us, & gave valuable insight for shopping, playgrounds for the kids, & maneuvering through the military base & town new to us.
Isn’t it amazing what ONE friendly person can accomplish? Hospitality in its simplest form is just sharing what you have.
Kim will probably never know this side of Heaven what impact her friendliness had on me…but won’t it be great that we will have Eternity together to praise the One who brought us together in the first place?
Below is a recipe I collected while we were stationed in Louisiana.
Ham & Sausage Jambalaya
2 Tbsp Shortening
1 lb. Polish Sausage
1-1/2 c. onions, chopped
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 c. diced canned tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 c. diced precooked ham
2 T. parsley, chopped
2 c. parboiled (also called Converted Rice)
4 c. water
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat shortening. Thinly slice sausage & saute’ with onion, green pepper, celery, & garlic until sausage is lightly browned & onion is translucent.
Add tomatoes & seasonings; simmer for 15 minutes. Add ham, rice, bouillon, & water. Cover tightly, & simmer over low heat 30-45 minutes until liquid is absorbed & flavors are well blended.
Additional liquid may be needed during cooking time. Stir well, & serve immediately.
Notes: “Converted” rice is parboiled which means partially cooked, then dried. The texture will not be sticky as with white rice. I also use Chicken Soup Base rather than bouillon cubes called for in the original recipe. Find it in the soup section of the grocery store. I find it is more concentrated, & adds great flavor in many recipes. It is one of my pantry staples.