In this post, I would like to tell you a little about
my first Christmas in South Africa.
Living here, is so differant from being in my country home in Pennsylvania.
I loved my house in the little town of Brogue.
The winter snow made it always feel like Christmas.
Here is a look at what I would see around Christmas
on the property where I lived in Pennsylvania, USA.
|snow where I used to live in PA|
Below, is just one of the sites I see at Christmas,
on the property I live on now.
|monkeys in my backyard|
Big difference, huh.
As the weather in Pennsylvania gets colder,
our weather in South Africa gets hotter.
PA is experiencing Winter weather,
while we are entering Summer.
Here is a look at my gardens on Christmas day.
I have been eating fresh lettuce from them for weeks.
As we approached Christmas day,
the Lord sent me a few blessings along the way.
Like these flowers given to me by the cashier at a local store.
Like these chimes, from my parents.
They were sent to remind me that they are praying for me.
Oh, the beautiful music they make!
I can hear it all through the house.
Cards and letters from my family and friends back home.
Oh, the delight I get from opening a letter or card from someone.
It is like having a personal visit.
Each piece of mail is usually read over and over again;
bringing encouragement and sometimes tears.
The Saturday before Christmas,
Londiwe and I had the opportunity to lead a few girls to the Lord
(I will post the whole story hopefully sometime soon).
Another blessing, was the chance to Skype with some family and friends.
(I don't get to do that too often,
because my internet at home is too slow,
so this was a treat).
So, you may ask, "What was Christmas like for you?"
First, let me tell you about what Christmas day was like.
|cleaning the church|
The day before Christmas,
we did alot of preparation for Christmas day service.
This included cleaning at the church,
shopping for groceries,
and preparing food to share.
On Christmas morning,
our service started at 9am.
The church was so full.
We had alot of visitors
and very good preaching.
After church, we went home and got our food together
to have Christmas meal with some other missionaries.
It was a hot day.
We ate our meal outside,
talked for a while, and then went back to the Kilmers
so the kids could go swimming.
(Yes, swimming on Christmas.)
We shared an evening meal with another missionary family
and had wonderful fellowship.
(We were so full from lunch, that no one had dessert-
cookies, trifle, rice crispy treats,...)
We know, as Christians, that Christmas is not about
food, decorations, presents, or even family.
It is about the celebration of the birth of our Saviour.
Even though I "made" my home feel like the Christmas season,
It was not really about all of that.
I decorated so I would not miss my family and friends so much,
during this time of year.
I am so blessed to have so many friends and family members
who have also trusted in Christ as Saviour.
It is during this time that we can all reflect on God's perfect GIFT.
Even though, I am so far away from home,
I am still safe in my Father's care.
He watches over me and cares for me all through the year.
|kitchen all "Christmastized"|
Yes, the cards, envelopes, calls, and boxes helped to fill the gap.
I certainly knew I was loved and prayed for.
(The prayers from you all are the most encouraging,
since I know you have prayed extra hard for me this Christmas - THANK YOU!)
|living room w/Nativity wall hanging|
Thankfully, the Lord filled my Christmas with so many blessings
and with busyness serving Him.
It really was a great first Christmas here in South Africa!
|Nativity I brought from home (notice the lizard on the left)|
I praise God for sending His only Son into the world so that all men might be saved,
including the Zulus!
|My Christmas Tree|