Thursday, December 24, 2015

A great way to spend Christmas Eve...........

Ken and I spent this Christmas Eve with these cuties at their church.  It was a wonderful service of Christmas carols and candle lighting. As usual, Gwen was singing and "fluting" (as her kids say). So it was Tim and Ken and I and the 4 kids, sitting together.   Is there anything better than children dressed up in their Holiday best, holding a candle, in the hushed darkness?  The best part (and the most memorable for me) was that Tim was holding Anna on his lap and she was obsessed with that candle!  Every time that Tim lit his candle off of Zeke's, Anna would promptly blow it out!  And then smile! So Tim would relight the candle.  This went on for the entire song!  All I could think was Anna would be more than ready in a month, to blow out those 2 candles on her birthday cake!  I got to have some cuddle and talk time with each of the kids.  All of them are so excited for Christmas.  Each told me about the special presents that they had opened from their Godparents.  It is such a blessing that Lia, Ellie, Zeke and Anna each have Godparents who are praying for them and remember them is such special ways.
And of course there are the special new Christmas pajamas for each of them.  Yes, the Christmas spirit is certainly at work tonight.  I can't wait for our family celebration on Saturday.  Today was just a little taste of the wonderful hugs and kisses in store for me!  

Now for the real "God surprise" from today!  While we were standing in the entry of Gwen's church, waiting for Tim to arrive with the kids, Gwen mentioned that they had received an email about the destination of their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I immediately checked my email and there it was...... emails regarding the 4 boxes I had packed and sent.  Here is the real amazing thing..... some of my boxes went to KENYA!!!!!  What are the chances of that happening?  They send these all over the world to over 100 countries.  Yet the boxes I packed happened to end up going to Kenya.  This is just one more way that Jesus is reminding me that I have a tie that can not be broken to Kenya and the precious people there.  You can read about Operation Christmas Child - Kenya by clicking this link.  If you take the time to click and read this, you will see something even more amazing to me.  One of the stories that they share on this page is about shoe boxes delivered to Kakamega children.  Unbelievably Kakamega is one of the places I visited in 2004!  Really, what are the chances that this would happen?  This is not a large city!  It is just a small town. Only Jesus could arrange something like this.  
These are a couple of the kids I met in Kakamega.  We packed our boxes in honor of Lucas and I have been praying for the little boys that will be receiving them.  Now it is even easier to imagine the faces of the little ones who might open those boxes, as I remember the many, special children I met on that trip.  I have blogged recently about feeling called back to Kenya.  And this special Christmas present from Samaritan's Purse just confirms that Jesus is up to something!  I can't wait to see what is ahead for me in 2016.  

Jesus, thank you for this wonderful celebration of your birth.  What a joy it is to hear the stories and sing the familiar carols when surrounded by children.  Thank you for Samaritan's Purse and Operation Christmas Child.  Bless all those who move those boxes around the world and for each of the special connections that you are making through these boxes.   Amen

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