by Kayla Raymond
Three years ago we said good-bye to little Rosie. I can hardly believe it’s been that long already. But, it has. And somehow the world has kept on turning.
Here we are three exact years later and Judeline, Rosie’s mom, has just given birth to another baby girl, Gracie. Gracie was born October 29 and she makes Rubie look like a giant baby. Rubie has chubby, round features and Gracie has tiny, petite features.
We had a scare as Gracie turned two weeks old. An infection settled deep into her femur bone and it took quite a while to figure out what was happening. By the grace of God, Gracie’s parents were able to find a hospital that could do the necessary procedure on her leg that would get rid of her infection. Pretty scary stuff for such a small infant, especially in this country. But, surgery went well and Gracie was able to come home last Friday.
Judeline and Gracie have been resting and healing at my house this past week and I find God’s timing quite ironic that He would have them at my house on the anniversary of Rosie’s death. At first, I was questioned WHY? Why this week? Why this season, when it is already so hard. Why make us walk through so much again? I feared the worse for Gracie on surgery day as I relived seeing Rosie on life support at the hospital three exact years prior. But, as I have been processing, God is also showing me how He is always making a new work in us. How He continues to gift us with life. How Gracie is His perfect gift to us. In no way am I saying Gracie is replacing Rosie, but I’m seeing how He redeems us and breathes life back into us while also gifting us with new life.
I no longer work for ViBella Jewelry, but the artisans there are a big part of who I am in Haiti. They’re a huge support system to me and my family. And two days ago the entire gang was together at my house to hang out with Judeline. We started talking about Rosie’s and for the first time I told all the women about my new dream for a bigger Rosie’s and Salsa Sisters – Haitians aren’t very familiar with salsa, so explaining the phenomena of a salty chip dipped in a delicious concotion of vegetables can be quite difficult. But, it’s funny how they immediately saw my dream. One chuckled and confidantly said, “Only God could give you dreams like these!”
As sisters, who have been through so much in five years, we dreamt together that afternoon. We bounced chunky Rubie and petite Gracie on our legs. We “ooh’d” and “ahh’d” over them. We recognized just how profoundly blessed we are to have new mercies showered upon us each and every day.
They spent several more hours hanging out upstairs as Gertrude and Anise, the first two employees for Salsa Sisters, came to the house to make salsa. This week was our second week making salsa at my house. The group came down to say good-bye and I gave them a taste of our salsa. They were asking all sorts of questions and a few said they want to come some week to learn how to make salsa as well!
And what I saw in that moment was holy.
For five years these artisans have been working hard to make a life for themselves through their jobs with ViBella and five years later they’re confidant and so full of blessings… they’re overflowing, really. There they were encouraging my Starfish women in their new work. Telling them to pray for God to bless the salsa. To have the faith. To keep the faith. To trust the One in whom we have the faith.
It’s funny how a kitchen full of women laughing, encouraging each other all the while eating salsa can be so holy.
I have this vision of a kitchen full of women cuttin’ and slicin’ all sorts of colorful vegetables. They’re tossin’ and mixin’ all the vegetables and cannin’ them for all the world to eat. They’re sisters. They’ve got each other’s back and they’re finding freedom from poverty through a job and in Jesus. They’re more than just sisters, they’re sisters in Christ. They’re Salsa Sisters.
God gave me a glimpse of this vision the other day. I don’t know where the money is going to come from to make this all come true, but I know it will come and this kitchen, this salsa, this adventure…it’s gonna be holy. And, delicious. Because, who doesn’t love a good bowl of salsa!
Donate to the Rosie’s expansion project today to help make our visions of a Salsa Sisters kitchen come true!
Donations can be sent to
Touch of Hope
205 Old Mill Lane
Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246
*memo: Salsa Sisters or Rosie’s expansion*
Touch of Hope is a recognized 501(3)c and all donations are tax-deductible
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