Most Filipinos here stay up Christmas Eve most of the night.
They usually have a meal around 10p.m. which includes pancit or spaghetti, ham or pork, salads, etc.
They play games, sing, have a lot of fun. Some of our friends were up til 2 or 3 a.m. Christmas morning. Then Christmas day they slept til noon or so!!!

One of our 'little friends' enjoying the Christmas lights!

We, on the other hand, had our traditional Christmas Eve time. Most churches here do not hold Christmas Eve services so we held our own. We sang many of the traditional Christmas hymns, each child presented either memorized scripture or a song on their instrument, I sang a solo, Kurt shared a Christmas message. It was really good...maybe I can get him to post it on the blog!

Then we had dinner that the girls made. It was very good. They've been enjoying making recipes from the "Redwall Cookbook" based on meals talked about in the Redwall book series.
Then we watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and went to bed.

Christmas morning, for the first time ever, one of our children was up before us. Usually we have to wake the kids up!!!! But this year Ben was up and waiting for us!
We had a fun morning of opening stocking gifts, having breakfast, lighting the advent wreath candles, opening gifts.

In the afternoon we had friends over for ham, mashed potatoes, salads, cookies, ice cream, etc....It was a fun day.

We feel blessed and thank God for His love for us that He was willing to send Jesus to earth for us.
May the true meaning of Christmas stay with each of us every day of the year.

Merry Christmas!


We hope you enjoy watching and listening to these kids sing a Merry Christmas song to you!

Bible Club Video

They sang this during the "Birthday Party for Jesus" celebration on December 13. See the "Sharing Blessings" blog for more pictures about that!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

More December Activities

Well, we had to shave James' hair off!

We called him our little monk for the first day or two of his new hair(less) cut!

"Why did we shave him?" you ask?????

Well, Ben decided he'd try to cut James' hair while I was gone shopping..
There were long and short and very short spots on James', I shaved all his hair off to match the shortest areas!

We had a good laugh about that. Mikayla had cut Kirsten's hair when she was younger. Kirsten had cut Ben's hair when they were now, Ben has cut his younger brother's hair!


The Middle School Band of Faith Academy Davao went to several poor areas here near the school and 'caroled' the communities with their band instruments. They also passed out candy to the kids. Kurt went as a chaperon. The music was well received and the kids had a great time playing for them.


Mikayla has taken Scottish Dance as her elective this past quarter. Her class danced the dances they'd learned for parents and other students the last day of the quarter. They did a great job!!!


I was in charge of organizing the annual Christmas Party for our mission group. Our group has grown so we were thankful to be able to use the new auditorium at Faith Academy for the party. We had over 130 people. A couple colleagues planned games for the kids..............

We sang Christmas Carols and some of the Middle School band kids accompanied the piano.................

We had a lot of fun.

A group of us also sang "This Little Babe" by Robert Southwell.
It is an awesome song with profound words. See the previous blog for the words to that song!


Thanks for all your prayers and support. We appreciate it more than words can say.

In Christ, and for His Glory,

Beth, for the Symanzik family

This Little Babe

This song is really good.

Listen to it at YouTube...

This Little Babe

This little Babe so few days old is come to rifle Satan's fold;
All hell doth at his presence quake though he himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak unarmèd wise the gates of hell he will surprise.

With tears he fights and wins the field, his naked breast stands for a shield;
His battering shot are babish cries, his arrows looks of weeping eyes,
His martial ensigns Cold and Need and feeble Flesh his warrior's steed.

His camp is pitchèd in a stall, his bulwark but a broken wall;
The crib his trench, haystacks his stakes; of shepherds he his muster makes;
And thus, as sure his foe to wound, the angels' trump alarum sound.

 My soul, with Christ join thou in fight;
Stick to the tents that he hath pight.
 Within his crib is surest ward;
This little Babe will be thy guard.

 If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy,
then flit not from this heavenly Boy.

 Robert Southwell (1561-1595)

Sharing Blessings

During Vacation Bible School this past summer, our sending church in Michigan had collected many items for us to put in gift bags for children here.

We were able to share 60 gift bags this weekend with children at a "Birthday Party for Jesus" our friends, James and Jocy, had for children in a poor area where they hold weekly Children's Bible Club meetings.

We shared 31 gift bags the previous weekend with another Children's Bible Club James and Jocy run as well.

91 gift bags passed out and I'm already making plans for at least 120 bags for next year!

Thanks to everyone who helped by donating toys, toothbrushes, etc., or money for this venture!

Carrying in boxes of gift bags and two coolers with frozen juice bags for the kids.

A cute picture of Kirsten helping James walk down the path.

The kids waiting for the "Birthday Party for Jesus" to begin.

Another picture of the kids.

Mikayla, Kirsten, and Ben helping with a game that is sortof like the American pie eating contest. Each big bag held 10 small snack-size bags of treats. Each child on each team of 10 had to grab one of the treats and eat it quick. Which ever team ate all their treats first, won.

Kurt breaking a clay pot full of candies for the children to get. It reminded me of a pinata game.

This game is like bobbing for apples. A cocount shell is burned and cuts are made in it. Pesos are wedged in each cut. The children try to get a coin out with their teeth!

Mikayla, Kirsten, and Ben passing out gift bags.

Checking out the gifts!!!!