Since Aaron did such a fabulous job posting about Christmas on his blog, I’ll focus on Boxing Day (December 26).
I’m not sure what Boxing Day is celebrating, but I do know that Kenyans call it a holiday. Aaron had the day off from work and we had big plans to visit Bosto Children’s Home, one of the orphanages that Tenwek sponsors. Unfortunately, Jacob woke up in the middle of the night with a fever, so Aaron stayed home with Jacob and Levi while Noah and I took a long safari to Bosto.
We loaded up 2 vehicles with lots of people, cakes, hula hoops, balls, gifts and crafts in the morning. Then, we drove up and around and up and up and around a really bumpy, dirty road for about 2 hours until we arrived at the top of a mountain where we found Bosto Children’s Home.
The first thing on the agenda was to play! We played some song games with the girls while the men played soccer with the boys. Some of the kids learned how to hula hoop and others jumped rope.
Once everyone was tired from all the fun in the sun, we headed inside to the dining hall to make paper ornaments.
Next, I told the story of salvation through a cake presentation. We sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.
And then, we ate cake!
A lunch of rice and mandazis followed the cake. Holidays are great…dessert BEFORE lunch! Christmas is particularly great because we get presents! Thanks to some local businesses and several churches from the US and Canada each child received a red backpack. Inside was a bar of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, pencil and eraser, lollipop, coloring pages and crayons. They were so very thankful!
Next up was writing thank you notes to those local businesses and learning some origami.
The program was ended by a prayer of blessing, the children hanging their ornaments on their Christmas tree and singing a Christmas song.
Since our little party was over, we loaded back into the trucks for the long, bumpy ride home. We enjoyed great conversation and found a short-cut, so our trip was a little less headache and stomachache inducing.
What a blessed day! The children are adorable and appreciative for such humble gifts and festivities. I am honored to play a small part in their Christmas celebration. May God get all the glory!
James 1:27 says “Religion that God the Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
There was one story Aaron forgot to mention in his post about Christmas…
I took each of the boys shopping at the local dukas. When it was Levi’s turn, I asked him what he wanted to get his brothers and Daddy for Christmas. Even before we reached the first duka, he said, “I get Noah and Jatub wittle bags and I get Daddy a reawy big bag!” While I immediately knew what he was talking about, I attempted to divert his attention to more reasonable gifts. We stopped at our favorite shops but nothing caught his eye. Not balls or soapstone figurines or food would be good enough to top “reawy big bags!” so we continued up the hill. Finally, we reached the duka with the big plastic bags hanging from a tree. He didn’t see them at first, but as soon as I pointed them out he was so excited. The store owner cut the biggest bag and 2 medium sized bags down from the tree and we paid about $10 for the set. He proudly carried them home and then announced his purchase at dinner. Fortunately, no one figured out what he was saying.
The looks on the boys’ faces were priceless when they opened their gifts from Levi. They were less than thrilled, but they have used them to store all their Christmas gifts. Levi loves Aaron’s bag, which is where he is keeping his Christmas goodies. It’s so big that he has to climb inside in order to find anything!
With Levi around, it isn’t too hard to choose JOY even during the hardest of days. 🙂
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for safe travels and a beautiful, rain-free day!
2. Please pray for the children at Bosto (and the other homes). Pray that God will direct their lives, will bless them and keep them, will shine His face upon them and give them peace.
3. Praise God for a blessed Christmas day! We kept things simple but special. The boys were very happy. They loved their new toys, the “feast” (as Jacob called it) that I prepared for lunch, and all the family time.
4. Praise God for technology! We facetimed with parents, received holiday wishes via facebook and got to see many of our friends’ Christmas festivities.
5. Praise God for fun friends! As I’m sure you saw on Aaron’s blog, one family received fake snow as a gift. They were nice enough to share, so Noah got to play in the snow on Christmas. (Levi was taking a nap, and Jacob wasn’t feeling adventurous.)
6. Please continue to pray for my dad. He has lost his voice and does feel some discomfort. Otherwise, he is doing well. Pray for endurance and strength, both physical and spiritual.
7. Pray for South Sudan. Pray that the believers there will stand firm in their faith. Pray for peace.