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There are a couple of things that I am wanting to share with you all. These are two huge experiences that have happened in my life simultaneously. These are both things that I had wanted to accomplish in my life, and I am so pleased with both of them. Check out the video to see what the big reveals are!

Benjamin Clifford Melo, 1 day old

Later I’ll be doing a blog and Youtube video on my birth story. It was quite different than expected, and still hard to talk about, but I want to share it with you all.

This cookbook, Simply Fresh, was created to be used by colporteurs. Colporteurs are usually students going door-to-door selling christian books and health books, and typically they are working in a summer program to earn money for school. This was something special to me to be able to write a cookbook for this because I had colporteured for a few years. I first started out in Northern California in a summer program, where we worked for 10 weeks to earn money for school. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have done. It takes a lot of courage to go door-to-door selling, especially Christian books. Unless you’ve done this, you can’t imagine how rude people can be. I even once had a man come outside and pee right next to me, even before he knew what I was selling. Ugh. The blessing of having someone tell you that I had been praying for guidance from God, and wanting to know Him better, and then I knock on their door.

A couple years later I found myself in Calgary, Alberta Canada colporteuring with a friend. I had just graduated with a Bachelors in Dietetics, so I was more focused on the health aspect. It was such a blessing to be able to help people see how they can make changes in their lifestyle to improve their health. I would talk with the people in their homes and see what problems they were having, then I would open up my health books and show them what foods are causing their problems, and which ones help to prevent and reverse the problems. To hear of how after just a few days they had major improvements in their health, was all worth it.

Also colporteuring led me to Manaus, Brazil. Though I did not speak the language when I arrived, I was able to learn quickly, and make great friendships, despite the lack of communication. After a about four weeks of being in Brazil, I was about two hours from our house with a friend, and neither of us had money for lunch. Colporteuring in Brazil is different than in the United States, because you walk everywhere to get where you are going for colporteuring. So there we were, two hours from home, hungry and broke. I grabbed a little health magazine from my friend and took it over to two men sitting at a table, and I began to explain the magazine to them in Portuguese. They ended up buying the magazine for 10 reis (about $5), which is exactly how much I needed for lunch. My friend saw what I did and sent me off to sell a magazine for her so she could get lunch. That’s when I realized that I was picking up on the language and was able to speak with the people.

It’s amazing to look back and see where God has lead me, and gave me the courage and faith to trust Him through it all. That is why this cookbook is so precious to me. The recipes are amazing and some of my favorites, but what makes my heart happy is knowing there are hundreds of students going door-to-door with a cookbook God had me write. So if you have students knocking on your door, be kind to them.

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