This year our Christmas was extra special for two main reasons: 1) Bethany's parents flew from Uganda to spend 3 weeks with us and 2) it was our first Christmas in Melut. We knew December 24-26 would be very busy celebrating Christmas at church and in the community so we had our own family Christmas complete with an amazing meal on Christmas Eve Eve - the 23rd.
On Sunday the 23rd, twelve people were baptized in the Nile River. One of them was my Sudanese Habooba/Grandmother. She is a 70-something sweet little lady and it was so meaningful for her to take her stand for Christ.
The Friday before Christmas we showed the Nativity Film on campus. We packed out our classroom with mothers and children on campus and it was such a good reminder for all of us of what this season is all about. Here are some of the special women who live on our campus.
Mom and Bethany are doing a lot of cooking together
Mom and Dad are both helping out a ton. Here Dad is taking several computers apart in the college library, trying to get them to work again.
Josh and his buddy Goich
One day we took Mom and Dad out on the Nile River for a fun boat ride. We tried to fish but didn't catch anything.
So thankful for this quad bike that can carry so many people at one time!
God gave us this breathtakingly beautiful sunset on Christmas Eve. We stopped what we were doing and we all went out to watch it.
The whole fam on Christmas morning, on our way to church. The boys' shirts were a gift from their grandparents from Uganda. Mom and Bethany have new "lauas" which are the traditional dress in this area.
Our 3 precious boys
We always have to get a picture on the river - it's just so beautiful! Mom and Dad can't stop commenting how beautiful Melut is. I think they're jealous we get to live here! :)
Christmas morning service - 470 people
Some of our Christmas vistitors. The custom here is that on Christmas day and the days afterwards everyone roams around from house to house visiting their friends and neighbors. When people come to your house you serve a cup of juice or water and some sweets and cookies. I made 2 cakes and had a case of candy and went through it in one afternoon! I also passed out balloons and that was a big hit.
Mom and Bethany as we visited house to house with other ladies on our compound.
My mom is a natural and everyone loves her!
Eli has a special "big brother" relationship with John, his friend on his right. John brought his friends over on Christmas so the guys hung out while the ladies visited.
Today, Dec. 26th, we still had more friends to visit. We were out until 4 pm going from one place to the next. It was so much fun to see how people had decorated their homes and fixed things up for Christmas. This is our family with Eliza, the special lady who helps us in our home. We are so thankful that God brought her to our family. She is a HUGE help.
Wherever you were this Christmas, we pray that the meaning of Christmas will remain with you now as you look toward the New Year and through this coming year, 2013.