Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Last weeks

Christmas is in the air... I know you must think I am crazy or jumping the gun a little bit, but when you live in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving and work in a ministry that gets done with classes and goes on vacation the first weeks in December, you are allowed to get started early with somethings. Actually, Kami and I have had our Christmas tree up since sometime in mid-September. I admit that might be pushing it, but we enjoy it.

isn't it beautiful

Tonight is our last En Vivo of the semester. We are going to tell the Christmas story, sing Christmas songs and even give each of the students a little present from El Pozo. The campus house is decorated and with Christmas music playing through the speakers, we are getting in the spirit.

So I said I live in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving...well that is mostly true. It is not an official holiday or anything like that but for like 200ish poeple there will be a Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday afternoon. The plan is to turn our front lawn into a huge family dining room by eating all together picnic style on blankets.

yard today, family dining room on Thursday

We don't currently have enough tables and chairs to sit everyone and in our area out back we are getting windows put in so it is unusable for the next week. We will continue with last years tradition of having all the students make turkey hands, write what they are thankful for, and then place them on a tree painted on the wall in hopes of filling the now bare tree with leaves. How they get from being turkey hands to leaves is a whole other story.

leafless today, full onThursday

Also this year we have invited all the kids from the kids home to celebrate with us. They are 55 people there. I am hoping that our students will integrate with them and get a passion to reach out to them more throughout the year.

Speaking of the kids home, last week we started passing out letters each of the kids wrote for Christmas. We still have 6 to get sponsored, but I am sure they will get taken tonight. Next Friday the 3rd we will go to the kid's home, have a party with them and give them their presents. Last year it was such a blessing for everyone involved, hoping it will be even bigger this year.

This is the last week of classes for the students, followed by finals. Even though we finish with regular weekly events does not mean we are checking out for the semester. We still have our last Lunada (once a month praise and worship time) and pancakes at 8pm all next week during finals. Then the kid's party on Friday followed by SOL GETTING BAPTIZED on Sunday.

Me, Rebeca, and Sol

Many of you met Sol this past summer when she came to visit with Rebeca and others have heard me talk about her frequently. Sol is a very very talented girl. She loves sports and is super smart. I met her playing flag football many years ago when she just entering college. I actually have a picture on my desk of the first time she came to an El Pozo event back in Fall 2007. She would frequent the house occasionally, I think mostly for the food, but last Fall she began to show up more frequently and not just for the the food. In October of last year I was going to start a bible study with another friend of hers, Laura, so I asked Sol if she wanted to be a part of it. Lets just say she wasn't quite ready, so we just kept praying. Then in January, I asked her again and she was ready. All last semester we (Laura, Sol and I) studied John together, then this semester while Laura was in Europe, Sol and I continued our weekly bible studies reading Acts. A few weeks ago we finished Acts and moved on to Galatians to finish out the semester. In January, Sol shared that her two memories or big experiences with the bible before coming to El Pozo consisted of going to mass every Sunday as a child on an empty stomach so she was thinking of food more than God and then later having to write out the entire bible in syllables for one of her grammar classes. Needless to say, she didn't read the bible much after that. Soooo, she started reading and learning and last week decided she wants to be baptized on Sunday December 5th. I can't think of a better way to end the semester and start the Christmas holidays. Pray for Sol as she continues to study, grow and live out all the stuff she is believing.

More to come after these next two weeks play out. Love you all. Thanks for giving.

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