Toffee Nut Latte Please

Living in Kenny Lake has prepared me for life in rural Uganda. Just like in Kenny Lake, we can’t go to Starbucks and grab a Toffee Nut Latte. Do you know how many times I’ve dreamed of a toffee nut latte since coming to Uganda? I’m embarrassed to confess. Let’s just say, more times than any one person should! 😉 The funny thing is, God knows me so well that he made sure there was an espresso machine on my kitchen counter in our home here in the middle of nowhere Africa.

Let me give you some background before you roll your eyes at me. I believe God cares about the little things in our lives and shows us love in very personal ways. Even the things we roll our eyes at! A few years ago, while my sister was a barista at Starbucks, my husband somehow arranged for an espresso machine to find its way under our Christmas tree for me. I love coffee and I love preparing coffee for my friends and visitors. If you know me, you know that! It’s one way I show love and it usually leads to great, meaningful conversation. My Christmas gift was short-lived when the water pump kicked the bucket. I always meant to fix it (I mean… order the part and have Troy fix it!!), but living in rural AK sometimes makes fixing things a little more of a challenge. Needless to say, I still own that machine and it still is not working.

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Then we moved to Uganda and were placed in this beautiful, spacious home. It took me a good couple days to even notice the espresso machine on the counter. I’ll blame jet lag! I did a double take and was so excited. And I realized right away it was the same machine I had back home in AK that I never did fix. How ironic was that? Well, I choose to believe it was a gift from God himself and I got a big kick out of that! Thank you Alair, for leaving that machine behind!

I’ve had to be creative…what else is new?! I’ve learned how to make homemade pumpkin spice syrup with our leftover pumpkin. Most recently I made cinnamon dolce syrup. I have yet to find a toffee nut syrup recipe, but I’m hopeful!

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You may think it’s a bit over the top to have an espresso machine here in Uganda. That’s alright. I still love making coffee for friends and I am able to provide a little taste of home to the young single ladies who are serving here and fellow missionary staff. I love that it does still lead to good, meaningful conversation. It’s helped make my home a safe place to land and it’s a tangible expression of love. This machine is just a tool and I am so grateful for it. Sometimes, when fall has come and it feels anything like fall time here, it’s just nice to wrap your hands around a warm cup of pumpkin spice goodness. Every now and then, when you are surrounded by culture that is not your own and is at times a struggle to live in, it’s nice to sip on something familiar. I love that I have been able to provide that for others.

So, thank you Jesus for that gift left on my counter top. Thank you for the simple pleasures in life, for friendship and good conversation over a great cup of coffee!

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