Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Very Meaningful Christmas

Our family in front of the tree on Christmas Eve

I'm finding it hard to put into words what has been going on inside my heart this Christmas. We had been planning to come to my parent's house in Uganda since last Christmas when my parents came to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with us in our home in Melut. After graduation and a week of tying up loose ends around campus, we were the final missionary family to leave Melut on December 11th.

Little did we know that just a week later fighting would break out in South Sudan. We are so grateful to be with my parents, to have loved ones to cry with and pray with. At the same time our hearts are breaking for our friends who are waiting every day to see if the fighting will come to their area. We are also very sad that our team had to pull out of South Sudan. We wish that we could be with them.

On December 22nd my Dad preached at their local church here in Mbarara, Uganda from Hebrews 3. The point that God really drove home to me that morning was to Fix my Thoughts and Focus on Christ. As we've been reading Advent passages with our boys, the meaning and power of Christmas has come alive to me in a very new and special way this year. When we first heard news of unrest beginning in Juba, South Sudan, my immediate response was, "No! Please No Jesus!" and then I remembered that Jesus, that precious, innocent, and perfectly pure baby who we celebrate this season is Sovereign King over all the earth and He sits on the Throne, in control of EVERYTHING! The encouragement that the Lord has been speaking to my heart this week is:
1. Do Not Worry
2. Do Not be Afraid
3. Stop thinking of the What-Ifs
4. Just Trust Him one day at a time

I am so so thankful that we are in a safe place where we can process this very crazy last year and pray about the year to come. We don't yet know what 2014 holds for us but we know that we serve a Mighty God and we are determined to obey and serve Him whatever that looks like and wherever that might be this year.

And now for a few fun Christmas photos:

Josh was our little elf who passed out the gifts

Christmas stockings filled with all kinds of goodies

At the Christmas service a Birthday cake was brought forward for Jesus and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and all the children came forward to help serve it to the congregation. The service was beautifully focused on Christ and concluded with an amazing Ugandan singer who sang a special song with three of her children - complete with traditional dancing.


Jennifer Liebenberg said...

I've just started a blog of my own and was idly keying through the 'next blog' link at the top of the page, and in three clicks I came to your blog.

My heart is in Africa too, though my body is here in the UK looking after my 90 year old Mum. I've been praying for years for all the places in Africa where there's been unrest, war,genocide, and of course for all Africa's other problems, malnutrition, lack of clean water, AIDS and so on. I will add South Sudan to my prayers, and your family as you wait for what happens next. God bless you all.

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Christmas and New Year are together coming! Wish you all happiness and best luck! I hope these great holidays will bring us millions of reasons to smile in life! Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!
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