Why does it always feel December is the shortest month of the year? well, this year was no exception. It's almost new year and we haven't even sent out a Christmas card. Maybe it has something to do with all the preparation and anticipation built up for Christmas. For most people Christmas comes one day of the year, lucky us, we got to celebrate four days of Christmas.
Our first Christmas came early this year, the 17th of December. Because the Furrows were leaving to the States, they wanted to treat all the kids, staff & volunteers to a special day in town while they were here. In all, we were 39 people! We are so thankful The Williams were here to provide some manpower, otherwise we would have lost an eye or even a whole kid.
So early in the morning, we loaded the gang in the back of the white truck and headed down to La Ceiba.
I wish we had it, but Beth Williams has amazing video of loading and unloading the truck with people. It seriously looks like those circus cars where the clowns just keep coming and coming and coming out.
Anyway, when we got to town, our first step was the mall. some of the kids had never been in a mall before, so it was a great new experience for them. Everyone was open mouthed by the huge Christmas tree and decor. It sure got us in the right spirit for the rest of the day.
Second stop was KFC for lunch. This is one of our favorite restaurants, not only because of the food, but also because the kids absolutely love their play area.
And the big surprise was after lunch. As if they didn't play enough, we took them to a small amusement park for a couple hours.
After the big surprise, everyone from youngest to oldest, was so wore out. We climbed into the back of the truck and headed back home. It wasn't even fifteen minutes in the truck, and everyone was finding a space to lay down and take a little snooze.
That was just day one! Christmas day #2 came the 21st of December. We celebrated Christmas with the community in the youth service.We had games, dramas, Christmas songs & dance. After Kelvin shared the message, we gave everyone (must have been 120+ people) a small gift bag with candy and stickers. We were so proud of everyone who participated in coming up with this program, but we are particularly proud of a group of girls who showed up from Toncontin (neighboring town) to practice for a dance a few days of the week. We are so proud not only because they came from far away but also because they want to get involved too. Here is a video of their dance. Sorry no more record of video when changing from blog to website.
A day after the service, the houseparents of one of the houses took their vacation days to visit their family, so Kelvin, Kelly and I moved into the kids home and spent 5 days there while we celebrated the rest of the holidays.
Traditionally, as many other Latin countries, Honduras celebrates Christmas on the 24th of December. So our third day of Christmas came on the 23rd. This day was cook to the max day. The other house parents, the older kids, and us spent most of the day and night cooking for the festivities the next day.
And after a late night of cooking we had the fourth and final day of Christmas. This day we pretty much celebrated all day.
Traditionally, kids get their gifts late the night of the 24th, if possible even midnight. But since our kids needed new outfits, we decided to give them their clothing gifts after a special lunch, and their toy gift at night.
After lunch we had the gift exchange. Each kids who received a gift had to give a gift to another kid
After their nap, we took the kids swimming and then get ready for church. They got to wear their new outfits and participate in the town's church Christmas program.
Once we arrived from church, the kids knew what happened next.... their toys! We sat the kids in a circle and in the same style as in the morning, we exchanged gifts. Here is a video of one of the youngest kids receiving his gift. His reaction is priceless.
We are so fortunate to spend Christmas with so many wonderful people. Celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus with so many kids has allowed us to see Christmas through their innocent eyes. We are so happy to have been able to serve all the kids and families; although its exhausting physically, it is more than rewarding spiritually.
Thanks to every one who keeps our families in their prayers. Special thanks to those who donated the gifts for the kids, Luz y Maria Posada, Gaby Martinez and her life group in Emmanuel Christian Center. Knowing that someone else, who doesn't even know them, elsewhere in the world thinks of them and prays for them was more worth than the actual presents themselves.
Again, thanks so much for all your support; and we wish you all a merry belated Christmas, and a happy new year!
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer!