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“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs…Love never fails.”             I Corinthians 13:4,5,8 “Friendship International is an outreach of Christian love from American ladies to Internationals living in the Lexington area.  We love and appreciate each other as we help internationals adjust to our community from other countries.  The purpose of Friendship International is to help make the adjustment to the American way of life easier, to provide activities of interest and to facilitate building cross-cultural friendships.” Friendship International meets in Immanuel Baptist Church each Thursday during the school year, unless Fayette Co. Public Schools are not in session.  Childcare is provided for preschool children. Here is a list of some of the classes that are offered:  Bible Study, Cooking, Crafts, Crochet, Cross-Cultural Parenting, Cross-Stitch, Exercise, Jewelry Making, Knitting, Line Dancing, Needlepoint, Painting, Praise Dancing, Quilting, Scrap booking, English (levels 1,2and 3), and Spanish. A couple of years ago I attended the parade of Nations at Friendship and took several pictures of the ladies. Friendship was celebrating the countries of the International ladies and the traditional dress of each country worn by many of the International women and their children was breathtaking.  I am sorry I was unable to take pictures of all the lovely ladies and children. Being a part of Friendship International is one of the most rewarding and fun things I have ever done. Many years ago Ruth White and I decided to take on the challenge of teaching a Ceramics class for the Internationals.  Neither of us knew anything about ceramics, but we figured that if God wanted us to do it, He would provide the way.  Well He must have wanted it because we had a wonderful time with the sweetest group of ladies and they each made several lovely ceramic pieces for their homes.  We learned how to do it together.  So never underestimate the power of God to help you do what seems to be impossible! “For nothing is impossible with God.”    Luke 1:37 Friendship International Smiles Are Contagious If you are looking for joy, you’ll find plenty of it at Friendship International. The year that I taught the art of paper-mache clown making was filled with laughter and fun. All of the Friendship classes have so much fun, you really should come to one of the meetings.  It is something you won’t soon forget. Our theme at the clown clinic was “smiles are contagious.”  Several years ago it was my privilege to teach another wonderful class at Friendship International. I decided to teach the girls “How to be a clown.”  I was actually part of a clown group in my church at that time and we enjoyed visiting nursing homes and even went to the children’s special Olympic games held over in Richmond one year.  The Friendship ladies and I had a great time together. We spent most of our time laughing. Can you tell that we designed our costumes ourselves from pajamas and our husband’s old shirts?  At the end of the semester, we decided to put on a skit in which we taught the other ladies at Friendship how to make “Friendship Soup.”  Of course clowns don’t talk so each of the ladies put in an ingredient in our soup pot.  One put in a rubber chicken, another a whole bunch of unpeeled carrots with the green tops still on and another salt that was still in the salt shaker just to list a few.  But the clowns were all sad because we couldn’t figure out why when we tested the soup, it didn’t taste right.  Then someone figured out that we had left out the LOVE ingredient.  So we all started hugging each other and after that the soup tasted great!  I shall never forget the wonderful friends and memories of that group of ladies.  If any of you are still around please let me know. I have often made my own original version of “Friendship Soup” at home and it is a favorite of my family and friends.  I usually serve it with homemade bread or corn bread.  Just remember when you make it  that the most important ingredient is love and always make enough to share with a friend.  That is me with the green hair and chef hat. Friendship Soup Recipe

  • 2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 3 lbs. lean stew beef stew meat cut in chunks (cut off all fat around the beef)
  • 9 cups of water
  • 1 cup Swanson all natural beef stock
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes
  • 4 fresh carrots peeled and cut in pieces
  • 2 packages frozen white corn (off the cob)
  • 1 package frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, beans, carrots)
  • 8 stalks fresh celery chopped into small pieces
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder,
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram leaves,  1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves, 1/2 white onion chopped fine or 1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Early in the morning in a large pot, brown the beef in the butter on medium high heat.  Add the water, beef stock and salt and pepper.  Let simmer all morning.  Take off burner and add a cup of ice cubes to cool and place pot in refrigerator in order to let grease rise to top.  A couple of hours before supper cook the carrots and celery about 20 minutes until tender and drain.  Cook frozen corn and vegetables and drain.  Take soup pot out of refrigerator and skim off the fat and throw away.  Chop up the stewed tomatoes and add them along with tomato juice to pot.  Add all of the drained cooked vegetables and the rest of the seasonings.  Bring to boil and then let simmer until dinner time.  Just before serving mix the flour into a cup of water and add to soup stirring to thicken the broth.  We love it the first night but I think it tastes even better the following day after all the flavors have mixed together.  Enjoy! Friendship 2013-2014 This year God has blessed me once again to be able to take part in Friendship.  I am teaching a painting class with Mary DeMarttina.  We have a group of such sweet and talented girls from Japan, China, Korea, Iraq, Mexico, India and Canada and they truly amaze me with their beautiful paintings.  We are studying the exquisite beauty of flowers up close and learning to paint what we see.  We will also be learning about the harmony of color in a wildflower meadow and how color delights the soul. painting class 2014 bI love painting flowers because in a garden I feel the very presence of God. wildflower beautyIn the words of the well-known and much loved artist, Thomas Kinkade,  “When we keep ourselves tuned to the beauty of our world, life itself become a joyous celebration of the senses and a song of praise.” painting class 2014 gfriendship painting 2014 hpainting class 2014 c painting class 2014 d painting class 2014 e painting class 2014 fIt is my prayer that this class will enrich the lives of the lovely ladies who participate in it and fill them with the joy of the amazing beauty that is all around us. “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.”         Psalm 37:4 painting class 2013 dpainting class 2013 apainting class 2013 bpainting class 2013 cpainting class 2013 epainting class 2013I have learned that it is not the ability that counts so much in teaching, it is the willingness to laugh at our mistakes and pour love out in everything we do and say that really counts.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is  God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”   I Thessalonians 5:16-18
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