December and Christmas time have always meant special family memories and activities for me. So, it was a little hard for me when Joel & Andi and the boys took off for Tanzania the first week of December not to arrive back until the 23rd. There wasn’t much time to mope around though as God filled the days.
We welcomed new family to our Crossworld team here in Senegal as Jiz Thomas arrived on the 8th. She is living with 2 Senegalese women, learning French, and learning how to integrate into Senegalese life and culture. Thank you for praying for us in all the details of receiving new workers, and please continue to pray for Jiz in her adaptation here.
Bruce had the honor of sitting on the jury as Roger Derpilus (Haitian missionary to Senegal) defended his master’s thesis. Roger did a superb job in his presentation and also in his defense. We are so proud of him. Others also recognized his good work and commented that it should be published because it would be helpful for the ministry in Senegal. Thanks to all as you’ve prayed and supported the idea and the reality of Haitian missionaries being sent out. God is at work. We love having part of our Haitian family here with us in Senegal.
Our church organized 2 Christmas box distributions in 2 different neighborhoods as an outreach to Muslim families. Pray that some kid’s clubs might result from these endeavors.
Christmas Eve we gathered together as a church family to celebrate Christmas – JOY TO THE WORLD: JESUS HAS COME! We worshipped together praising God in song and dance; all the different groups presented songs, skits, and dances; we read and were encouraged by Scripture; and we feasted together with a meal at 10 p.m.
Christmas Day Bruce preached at church. Our Senegalese neighbors always share meals with us on their special holidays so we do the same. So, after church we distributed chicken meals and sweet breads to 9 of our neighbors in celebration of the birth of Jesus. Then we gathered together out in the village of Joel & Andi’s host family to celebrate with our Senegalese family and friends.
New Year’s Eve we all relaxed at home doing things we enjoy and then early evening we went out to a bluff outside of Thies with friends to roast hotdogs and marshmallows, play some bocci ball and set off fire works.
We are grateful to God for the abundant life He has given us here in Senegal, for the opportunities to build into the lives of those around us, for His faithful presence with us in everything during 2016, and for the expectations we have for 2017 because of our hope in Him.