Chtit’ha Djedj(Algerian Chicken with chickpeas)
As we are at the tail end of our trip to Algeria, I wanted to share some more about Lilias Trotter, since we started in my last post. I have yet to read the biography of Lilias Trotter. Followings are what I have gathered after reading Noel Piper’s book, “Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God”. I am encouraged by Lilias Trotter’s
Lilias Trotter sailed to Algiers for the first time in 1888 with her two friends. She was 35 years old at that time. She was frail and had heart damage. She knew nothing about the language, culture and people of the land she was ready to venture into, yet she was determined. “The power of talking can only come by being among the people-but time will shew God’s plan.” she says when she was learning Arabic.
Before Lilias Trotter learnt Arabic, she used French, which many Arab men knew (with the history of French rule) to reach them with gospel. To reach women and girls, she along with her two missionary friends, developed embroidery and bible classes for girls and women. They started ‘open house’ for the Arab women to relax and socialize, to use the rare opportunity to meet with them, when the arabic women got out from their homes on rare occasion.
Lilias Trotter,a talented artist, gave up painting as a main fulfilling aim of her life.She pursued the higher calling of being a missionary for Christ.She used her gift of painting and art in many forms to spread the good news of Jesus. Noël Piper writes, “She was among those at the forefront of her missions’ era with the idea to create and publish booklets that would look and feel Arab to Arab leader. She and her co-workers wrote many stories and parables that displayed various aspect of Jesus and the gospel.” Her journals were a combination of words, painting and sketches, Noël piper notes.
I have been challenged by Lilias Trotter’s ‘never give up‘ , pioneering spirit.She was tenacious through the circumstances for the sake of gospel. Noel Piper writes, Lilias dream was to create outposts for the gospel in outlaying desert towns. She traveled to the Saharan desert,south of Algeria, where mode of travel was by camel only, reliant on unfamiliar guides, not to mention typical challenges the desert poses. She knocked door to door just to see if someone, anyone would talk to them and listen to the story of Jesus.
The prayer,she started her missionary journey to Algeria with,she realized part of it towards the end of her life.
I know,you probably didn’t expect to see the tale of a missionary on a food blog but aren’t you glad to know about this woman?
I am pretty sure,Arabic food was one of the thing,English woman like Ms Trotter must had to get used to.Fortunately for us,this dish was loved by all of us.I served it with rice, Algerian prefer it with couscous.
As i was looking for the main dish to cook for our Algerian night,I came across chicken stew cooked with chickpeas.I must mention,most of these recipes were in French.I guess,french history is still very evident in Algerian culture.Again i have not followed one particular recipe.I understood the basic idea and spices used in this stew.I would mention,at some places ,i noticed the use of ‘Harissa’,a very spicy blend.I don’t have one,so i deconstructed and used the spices.
My husband led us in the prayer for the outreach of gospel in the country.We prayed for a friend,who is currently in a mission field there.