It's been awhile since I did a blog! First I was really busy getting ready for all the people who arrived between December 27 and January 1st. Then we had our conference from January 4-8. And then we had no internet for a week. I never had a chance to write about our Christmas, so I'll do that now.
I got back from the US on December 20, so the next day John and I decorated for Christmas. Here's our little tree aka the bush. But I like our little tree! John and I got a little tree for our first Christmas because we didn't have a lot of money and because we thought it would be easier to bring a little tree to Africa than a big one. Then when we moved to the "village", we decided we didn't want to have a big tree that attracted a lot of attention. As we established a church we didn't want to do anything that new believers would think they had to do, such as have a Christmas tree. It's normal here to decorate your house for holidays, so our decorations were understood as making our house nice for our holiday. But we just didn't want the focus to be on the tree. So to this day we have a small tree. (I've got nothing against big trees...this has just been our personal choice. And when we're in the US, we almost always buy a real tree. And I love going to people's houses who have lots of decorations!) We try to keep our decorations simple, too. This is a small creche scene I picked up at the dollar store, but I really like it!
On Christmas Eve John and I had our traditional Christmas Eve supper.....curry, the way my dad makes it with tons of chopped up fruit, nuts, boiled eggs, etc. to go with it. I also made sticky buns which we had Christmas morning for breakfast.
Here Christmas is spent at church with believers AND this year was also Sunday. So we went to church! It was a great service, full of joy and celebration. The walls, ceiling fans, and even the guitars were decorated. The choir had several special numbers. Each Sunday School class came up and sang songs and recited verses. Some of these verses were really complicated, too. These itty-bitty kids speak better French than I do! Of course, the little guys stole the show like they do at churches all over the world. Our neighbor kids even recited verses in French. I was proud of them so I'm sure their parents were extra proud! The oldest Sunday school group did a skit. And the ladies' group sang, too. The white blurs are hankies and kleenex being waved around. Why, I'm not really sure. I have been attending meetings, but missed for a month so since I wasn't there when they practiced I didn't participate in this special number. And, of course, there was a message.
The service was followed by a meal. I didn't get any pictures of that because I was too busy eating!
Later in the evening we went to a friend's house for a potluck supper.
And on the 26th we opened our gifts.
And that was our Christmas!
And,yes, we missed our kids. Immensely.