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Asha George-Guiser with husband Kim and daughter Preeya, along with their toy poodle Pepin.

She stands like a candle with her flame casting a glow to embrace all that is around her. I felt that glow upon first meeting Dr. Asha George-Guiser.

At the age of 16, Asha George came to the U.S. to attend college on a scholarship to Neumann University, where she graduated as a Pre-Med major.

Shaped by her birth to a South Indian family living in Kuwait and her adolescent years in India, she traces her faith that was formed by her Syrian Orthodox upbringing.

She has “grappled with what it is to be a dark-skinned woman in a culture where light skin and being a male is preferred.” She is passionate about God and his grace, connecting with every tribe and nation of people, and how to bring healing and hope. Her mission statement is from Jesus: “I have come so you may have life and life abundantly. (John 10:10)”.

Asha was drawn to the ministry through inner-city summer camp work in Camden, NJ. In 1982, she became Dr. Asha George when she received her master of divinity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. She completed her doctor of ministry from Eastern Baptist University. She was the first Asian woman to be ordained in The Lutheran World Federation.

She and Kim D. Guiser met while both were attending Lutheran Theological Seminary. Married for 36 years, together they have been preaching, empowering teachers of the faith and outreach ministries.

Dr. Asha George-Guiser is a dynamic preacher. She is an experienced speaker who needs no microphone as her voice and word carry far.

Dr. Asha’s doctoral studies were in marriage and family therapy. She serves Christ in a private practice (Trinity Counseling) in Blue Bell since 2003 where she integrates spirituality and psychology in cross-cultural settings.

Upon her husband’s retirement as a Lutheran pastor, together they found a new home as they began to worship and assist at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Phoenixville. In June 2020, both were ordained and received as Episcopal priests in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Along with Father Guiser, she is actively serving at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Honey Brook.

Their beloved daughter, Preeya, lives and works for Sanofi in Boston.

Her three siblings all reside in the U.S. Father Guiser hails from the nearby Charlestown area and they have lived in Collegeville for 20 years. We cannot forget to mention their furry child — Pepin who is a toy poodle.

Dr. Asha loves to dance, sing, cook and serve others. She is a trained classical Indian dancer and has performed nationally. She loves color — the more vibrant the better even in the rich flavor of foods, clothes and her surroundings.

An Iranian dish was given to her by her mother, Elizabeth George (from the time when they lived in Kuwait). Mom’s favorite quote: “Good food is a universal pleasure.”

TAH-CHEEN

4 cups rice - long grain

2 cup plain yogurt

3 eggs

saffron - one pinch soaked in tablespoon in hot water

salt - a pinch

1 Tbsp. butter

2 lbs. ground lamb - sautéed with salt and pepper

black and green olives - 10 each

lime juice from 2 limes

rose water as needed

4 green pepper – sliced

1 garlic bulb - minced

Garnishes as listed in instructions

Prepare rice according to package instructions. Mix the beaten eggs, soaked saffron, yogurt and rice. Sautee lamb with salt & pepper in butter. Add olives and green pepper slices with lamb. Cook until mixture is browned. Spray olive oil spray in cast iron pan/pot and spread one layer of rice mixture. Spread on top of the rice layer a meat layer. Keep repeating the layer process until runs out (4 layers or so. Simmer on stove top for 45 minutes. Turn it over like a Bundt cake – sprinkle with rose water and lime juice - garnish it with coriander leaves, red pepper and sliced hard boiled eggs. Slice and serve.

ENJOY!

Contact columnist Bette Banjack at banjack303.verizon.net. Search YouTube – with BetteBanjack as well as phoenixvillenews.com (search bar Banjack). She can also be found on Facebook.

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