December 21, 2008

Christmas Time..

By the time it was dark outside last night we had arrived at our camp in Laguna Park Texas and had loaded in enough groceries for a weeks worth of meals for 32 people! The groceries were brought in by an assembly line of about 8 of us- with the two kids in hysterics the whole time as they tried to catch bulk supplies of everything while giggling over how much we have for our Christmas holiday!

Laguna Park is a one stoplight town with the most generous and hilarious man (Uncle Brother Doug- the pastor of the church we're singing at tonight) without a doubt. Yesterday he paid for all our groceries for the week explaining that this was about giving to us how he could, and how not just everyone got the opportunity to bless us uniquely! This morning we were invited to the breakfast Uncle Brother Dough cooks for his congregation week after week. So upon getting the breakfast room I am met with the best smell of homemade jumbo sized cinnamon buns, french toast, AND homemade raisin and berry mix english muffins- talk about a servants heart!

Today is our last day of concerts before the holidays- and it's been so fun to have the Christmas music added to the program after finishing it in rehearsals! Little Racheal (the girl who plays Mary) was so nervous to come out on stage to do her part in acting out the manger scene, but after doing it once comes beaming and running into my arms after the concert announcing "I am not shy anymore!". Just for that moment every hour of rehearsal was definately worth it.

After tonight's concert we have no set schedule except for trying to fit in gift wrapping, lots of playing, movie watching, and making sugar cookies with the kids into our days! Our last church that we stayed at donated us all Toms shoes to all the kids- have you heard of them before? I hadn't till tour- for every shoe that is bought one is given to a child that needs shoes in Africa and South America. After hoping to give all the kids new shoes for Christmas this was such a generous blessing to fulfill that wish! As a suprise for the kids I am going to paint the ACC logo and their name on each of their shoes and am pretty excited to do it.

With all of my personal family traditions gone for this Christmas and in being away from home and family my hope is that my focus may be redirected to what this season is really all about. To imagine a life without my faith and be truly thankful for why we're celebrating. And then to find true joy in these kids- in their smiles that I'm so excited for as they figure out what a stocking is, attend a Christmas eve service together, and relax on Christmas day opening gifts and all baking a brunch and dinner together. And so I leave you here- at just the start of it all and as I don't have wireless at the camp wish you wonderful wishes for Christmas now!!

December 11, 2008

From Nelson...

Now THIS is Texas weather- a day with no coat and 16 degree weather of sunshine watching the kids run around outside. Today has been filled with hours of english lessons- one of the boys in grade 4, Nelson, was assigned a journaling activity today and after writing my blog a couple days ago I had to share it with you- the same story of the first snow through the eyes of a child...

" When we were in Dallas we saw snow. At frist Uncle Andrew said it is snowing but I said no that's not true- please do not joke, so he said touch my arms. So I caught his arms then I felt his arms so so so so so cold. Then I believe that it is snowing outside. Then my friends came out from the shower than they found us talking about snow they my friends did not believe so Uncle Andrew said Let's go outisde. We all went outside shout yes yes! So we went outside to see snow but before seeing when Patrick was holding the door people push Patrick away because they wanted to see snow. Auntie Angela was taking video I opened my mouth very wide and I was eating snow. I will write other when this journal book comes back."

December 9, 2008


Tonight is our final night staying at a college in Dallas- the kids sung yesterday morning for probably (well, not probably- they were on their feet the whole time) audience to date which was both exciting and encouraging to see after rehearsing so often and watching so many shows. This week marks the final week of preparing Christmas music so that we can add it into the program by the start of next week. I had my day off today and when I got back the kids were so excited to tell me that they had learned the verse to the song I taught them last (Silent Night) in their language. I have come to know the contagious effects of happiness- feeling it first hand through these kids and getting excited and energized to continue working hard for and with them.
Just as we finished showers tonight Rachel grabbed Peace and told her to put her coat over her short p.j's to run outside so she could see the hail- explaining it would be the closest thing to snow she would see on tour. Not 5 minutes later as all the kids are out of the shower does it start to snow! Really snow! Not just freezing rain or slush but huge flakes of snow that fell in clumps- dotting everyone's p.j's. The kids ran around screeming and hugging each other- trying frantically to catch it before the snow hit the ground or catch it on their tongue- it was so fun! I know I have said this whole time that I am so glad to spend Christmas without winter, but it was so exciting for me to see snow- for it to feel like a touch of home so far south and to see the kids eagerly trying to catch in, carry it inside, and then later to have them come running to you wanting hugs to try and warm up their shivering little bodies and cold toes!
But now- it is time to go back to the residence we're staying in to watch White Christmas (for my first time I might add!)- ready to brave the cold with my spring jacket and hot chocolate in hand.