Christmas has already come and gone. And wow, what a beautiful time of the year! I do have to admit that I did miss the snow this December leading up to Christmas Day and the ambiance of the lights, the cold snuggly weather, cozy fires, and the Point of Grace album that my mom plays in the car and the house every Christmas season (shout out to you, Mama!).
I know this post is extremely overdue (I have been in the process of writing it for almost a month now…), but I still think it is worth sharing.
We had a celebration on Christmas Eve filled with delicious Honduran food, dancing bachata with the kiddos, watching each child open their gifts and experience their joy and satisfaction, and praying at 12am to initiate Christmas Day. (I would just like to mention here that the kids LOVE peluches (stuffed animals). There are even 17-year-old teenage boys who cherish those darn things. It is one of the simplest yet delightful sights.
Enjoying a video that a missionary (Kassidy) created of the two missionary girls (Kiara and Adelina) for their mom's Secret Santa gift.
On Christmas Day we had a church service, and then our missionary community did a gift exchange in our home complete with a delicious pancake breakfast. The rest of the day was spent slowly with opportunities to call family. There was space for us to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas or as some say, “the reason for the season.”
We also experienced New Years at the Finca and the joy of another celebration and compartir (sharing). It served as a despedida (goodbye) to the cherished two-year and three-year missionaries (oldies) who returned back to the States – Kassidy, Laura, Melanie, and Emily. And what a crew of God-filled, faithful women they are. I am grateful to have shared life with them for three months, to learn from them, and to witness their wisdom and love for this place and all who inhabit it.
A skit that the kiddos acted out with missionary (Anna) for the Christmas celebration. The youngest boys were all giggles!
Now I know the season is over, but I would just like to depict what I experienced and reflected on during Christmastime. It struck me, as did Omar with a big smack to the face as he is giving me one of his daily hugs. The Creator of our world, the King of our hearts, and the Lover of our souls came down from His heavenly throne. He humiliated himself and came to us in the form of a vulnerable, crying baby to dwell among us and eventually die on a cross for each of us. He did it all with the hopes that we may choose Him over our sinful humanity and instincts. That we may choose life over death, love over hate, humility over pride, trust over control, joy over sorrow, dependence over independence, peace over turmoil… What a beautiful gift we have received this Christmas – our Lord and Savior. May we persevere in this joy and hope through the year of 2019.
I apologize for my terrible consistency with blog posts. I recognize the importance of the benefactors, who have so graciously and generously supported me in this mission. You deserve to know what you are supporting! So, thank you for your patience with me. Please know that I think of you and are praying for you each by name. And if you do have a specific prayer request, feel free to shoot me an email J