Now that the 2017 is upon us we are taking time to reflect and update all those we love (ie. YOU) with how our family is doing, and how Christmas in Africa went down. We have also been helping with two teams that are visiting Uganda, one of which has returned to Texas, and the other which is returning later this week. It has been a joy to see how blessed the children have been by having their mzungu visitors bring crafts, games, water balloons, Christmas gifts, and a lot of love. It has also been neat to see visitors who have never been to Lulwanda and how much their hearts are touched and impacted by these beautiful children. We have so much in America, but sometimes have to fly across the world to see what we need most and what we were created for; sharing the love of Christ with each other. Praise God, the creator of Heaven and earth, we are alive in You.
Christmas Day was far from anything we had experienced in the past. The temperature was pushing the upper 90s, there were no feasts with both sides of our family, and no Christmas lights to see. The day started with us waking up too early, reading the Christmas story, and the kids opening their gifts. Megan had prepared an amazing cinnamon breakfast thingy that went well with coffee, and then we departed for Lulwanda around 10:30am. Upon arrival we greeted everyone and made our way to the small church nestled behind Lulwanda. Everyone was dressed in their Sunday best and praised God, then listened to the message. After church we went back to Lulwanda and enjoyed an African feast with our African Family. Everyone was happy and smiling and rejoicing in what God has done. The Global Journey team then presented gifts to all the children in the form of some pretty cool backpacks. My favorite moment was when the new children who were just brought to Lulwanda couldn’t contain their excitement or stay in their seats once they realized they were getting Christmas gifts. After Lulwanda we returned to John and Bobbi’s and had dinner with the Global Journey team, which consisted of five college age young adults from Texas. Once we returned home the day felt like a whirlwind, unlike any Christmas that we’d ever experienced. While we of course wish we could have seen family and celebrated with them, we rejoiced, for over two thousand years ago a Savior was born in the city of David, the Messiah – Christ the Lord.
New Years at Lulwanda was awesome. Myself, John, and another missionary friend from the community went out to Lulwanda and shot off fireworks for the children and staff (provided by Cathy Marshall and her team), a first for many of them. When the first round went off they went screaming and running which was hilarious, but they soon weren’t afraid and were cheering. We then returned to town and watched football, enjoyed watching fireworks from a couple of nearby hotels, and the kids had fun with friends shooting off fireworks and playing with sparklers.
Overall the season has been a joy. A new experience for our family as traditions are having to be forged anew, and family was missed dearly. Despite the distance and change in temperature however we are thankful, for God is with us, this life is not ours, but His. Thank you for all your support and prayers, we genuinely love you all.