Christmas Day

Christmas Day at our home was festive and fun.

The kids had stockings to open. We ate a breakfast of hard boiled eggs and cinnamon rolls.

Then we lit our advent wreath and sang some Christmas hymns.

The kids enjoyed opening gifts from family and friends.

Our good friend, Beth, had lunch with us. We had a stocking and gifts for her!

Here she is helping the kids put a castle together!

Then we went to church at 4 p.m. Mikayla and I have been practicing with our church choir to perform the Christmas Cantata "Peace On Earth." It was a lot of fun and culturally enlightening.

Mikayla was one of the banner dancers for the song "Eternal One."

The cantata performance started around 5:30.
Then our church had a Christmas dinner. Rice, fried chicken, roasted pig, and many other good foods were served.

We are very blessed. Words fail to express how thankful and humbled we are that God our Father has called us into full-time missionary service.....

O Come All Ye Faithful Joyful and triumphant,
......Hail! Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning,

O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;

O come, let us adore Him

A View from our Veranda on Christmas Eve Day

In the previous post I mentioned our neighbors had a pig tied up for their Christmas feast.

On Christmas Eve morning they hog tied and bled the pig to roast for their Christmas celebration.

We didn't go over to get close up shots as they would've felt obligated to share their pig with us. As evidenced by the pictures, they do not have a lot.

The people next to us are really nice. Most of the men are jeepney drivers and mechanics. Even though they are hard workers, the average take home pay per day for a jeepney driver is about 200 pesos (the equivalent of about $4.75 US).

Later that morning we took them all Christmas gifts of rice, toothbrushes, shampoo, coffee, and candy for the children.

Here in the Philippines the big Christmas celebrations usually start Christmas Eve at 10 p.m. with a big meal, party, a family reunion of sorts, and they welcome in the Christmas day at midnight.

Christmas day tends to be very quiet as most people are sleeping due to being up so late the night before.

Our neighbors behind us had games, a raffle, and dancing until 3:30 Christmas morning. The music was loud, the atmosphere fun!

Kurt and I were both surprised our kids slept through all the loud music. We, on the other hand, sat up in our sala for an hour or so drinking hot chocolate at 2 a.m., unable to sleep due to the noise!!!

Christmas Eve Day Reflections

Our neighbors next door have a pig tied up they bought from market for their Christmas feast.....

roosters crow......

Christmas music can be heard outside....

the sound of two-stroke tricabs is less today......

there seems to be a bit less street activity today.........

even though it is still noisy outside it still seems a bit quieter today -

a time to reflect on the love of God our Father for sending His only Son Jesus Christ into the world for save us from our sins so that we can one day spend all eternity with Him!!!!

"O come, Let us adore Him!"

King David

Ben loves to play pretend.

Recently he received 'Army pants' from one of his Aunts and an army vest from a friend here.

In Kindergarten they've been learning about King David. For years I've been praying over Ben that he will grow to be a man after God's own heart like King David; a strong warrior and a tender hearted man. Ben is showing signs of both as he grows and develops.

So it was fun to see him playing "Army" - as in commando and yet he was King David!!! (Really, he has a sucker in his mouth, not a cig!!!)

Family Photo

Hi, Thought I'd share a more recent photo of us as a family!
Mikayla has really gotten tall this past year.
Kirsten and Ben have each added an additional inch or two in height also.

We've been through many changes this past year and we thank God for all our friends and family supporting us to be here!

Kurt and I really enjoy our work here. The kids are thriving and doing well. We thank God for His blessings. May all we do and say be to His Glory!

Blessings to each of you at this holiday time!