It's Thursday and I'm just now getting around to linking up with Momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesday. This week we are to write about our favorite Christmas gift. My favorite Christmas gift was given to me on December 24, 1985.
I was a missionary school teacher in Miango, Nigeria. My then-boyfriend was a missionary in Niger, the country to the north. He had been in Miango for six months studying Hausa and that is how we met. We first met in January 1985 and got to know each other throughout the year. In December, he came down to Nigeria for Christmas. My parents came from the USA for that Christmas, too. I knew in a general sort of way that we would probably get engaged, but I didn't know when it would happen.
I was in the habit of going out to a Fulani camp with another missionary one or two evenings a week. We did literacy and sang and told Bible stories at different Fulani camps.
So on Christmas Eve, John, my parents, and I all went out to the Fulani camp. These pictures were taken during the day, so it doesn't show how cold and windy it could be in the evenings! As we headed out, I put my house keys in John's pocket and he acted really annoyed that I would do that. Unbeknownst to me, he had my best-Christmas-gift-ever in that pocket.
When we got back from the Fulani camp, we all went back to my apartment and had hot chocolate. Then my parents suddenly started acting all exhausted and said they were going back to their guest room (I had a very small place so they were actually staying at the guest house nearby). I got kind of annoyed with them and told them that it was only 9:00 and they were being party poopers.
As soon as they left, John popped the question. I still didn't really know what was coming but I did ask John why his heart was beating so fast! Of course, I said yes! and he placed a beautiful diamond ring on my finger. I have pictures somewhere, but I can't seem to come up with them now. John had some how gotten a hold of one of my rings and measured it and sent it to his sister-in-law and told her how much she could spend....so my sister-in-law chose my engagement ring. :) (You've got good taste, Laurie!) She then somehow got it to my parents who brought it to Nigeria with them.
My best friend had made me promise that if I got engaged, no matter what the hour, I had to come tell her. So as soon as John left I ran over to my friend's apartment and stood at her bedroom window calling her name until she woke up. The next day was Christmas and our engagement was announced at the Christmas service.
Our engagement was mostly long-distance with us in two different countries....and the borders were closed. There was a courier who would take mail across the border, so we always say our love letters were smuggled.
The day we got our son, Daniel, settled into boarding school for the first time, my mom heart was pretty sad and wondering if we were doing the right thing. We were traveling back from the capital city to the town where we worked. I looked down and noticed the diamond from my ring had fallen out. It was a very sad and difficult day, I'll tell you!
So on our next home assignment I got another ring which I also love. And my ring is still the best gift I've ever gotten on Christmas!