"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is the Messiah, the Lord." Luke 2:11
Here in Guatemala, Christmas is celebrated on the 24th at midnight with fireworks and tamales. Our family will wait for Hannah and Matt to arrive on Monday. It works quite nicely...while everyone here is celebrating, we are finishing up our own preparations!
This has been a busy week, first with a Christmas party given in Chiminisijuan for close to 200 children. Our good friend Oralia went to share the story of Jesus' birth in the language and form that they can understand. I loved watching the faces of the children as they listened intently. The story that we are so familiar with is new to many of them and one that they can relate to...a child born into physical circumstances similar to their own, angels appearing to shepherds - which many of them literally are. Our desire of course is that they realize the reason for His coming. We really strive to avoid the temptation to make the celebration look like ours...with gift giving and traditions that our culture brings. So after the story we had them color and glitter a craft to hang in their homes with the text above and then gave away apples... the traditional Christmas treat here. It was quiet and simple...but lots of fun for both the children and the adults.
The next day we invited all the children and staff from the orphanage in San Andres to come for the day. They love to "pasiar" (to leave the Home). We fixed lunch - an enormous amount of it - and everyone ate until it was all gone and then we played. The older kids played volleyball and the younger ones...hours of freeze tag. The Hogar de Vida (Home of Life) has always held a very special place in our hearts and it was wonderful to have everyone here.
Early yesterday morning we recieved a call from our good friends, Rosa and Armando. Armando is a pastor who helps us in the clinics. Rosa gave birth to little Samuel on Tuesday. He struggled for life on a ventilator until he finally died yesterday. Duane flew to Quiche to bring them home with the casket next to Rosa. Pray for them when you can...their faith is strong but their hearts are broken.
We pray that this Christmas brings joy and peace to you!