Christmas Eve will be here before we know it, so we have been busy!
We have been working for weeks on preparations for our big Christmas Eve outreach event.
What it is, is...a dinner and Christmas message more or less. We will provide a traditional Guatemalan Christmas Eve dinner of tamales, Pan, Ponche and dessert.
Wrapping Christmas Presents!
The families that have been invited all live in the neighborhood in Zona 3 right alongside the largest landfill dump in Central America. This is, or is one of, the poorest, most dangerous neighborhoods in Guatemala City. The people here have very little hope, and Christmas tends to be a very depressing time for them. The majority of them cannot afford to have a traditional dinner, and most cannot even have one present for their children.
So, we are going to try to offer them some love and hope on Christmas Eve. We will have the dinner, Christmas carols, a program for the children while the parents hear a message of hope and salvation, and at the end....everyone that attends, child or adult, will receive a Christmas gift! We went shopping last week and bought over 150 presents. We already had almost 100.
We are expecting this year anywhere between 150 and 225 people!
Carmen & Sonia wrapping gifts
We have been involving some of our youth in all of this. Some of them will not be here for Christmas, but we have about 12 that are committed to doing everything with us. For weeks we have been practicing Christmas Carols. We have written our own version of the Christmas story and the jóvenes are all taking part in performing it as a play for the children! I have made arrangements for costumes for all and am excited about seeing them perform. We have less than two weeks to go, and need LOTS, and LOTS of practice! But....I have great confidence in my youth and they will do fine. The youth will also serve the dinner and pass out presents.
Maria, Priscila, Sharol & Hugo
After our program which will be held again this year at Casita Benjamin, we have been tentatively invited to visit a church in Zona 11 to sing and possibly perform our play. We'll see what happens.
We've solicited lots of help and it has been wonderful how people have responded. I have rented a bus for the day to get everyone there and back. We have good friends that will come to help and bring a band for music and Benjamin will give the message for the adults.
I have invited the pastor of a church called Antorches Incendidas, which is close by this neighborhood, to come and meet the folks and invite them to his church. He is planning to come with a few youth and elders from their church to get to know the people!
Jackelin, Magalí & Irma
Please be praying for this event, that many of these folks that don't have much hope in this world would learn about the true hope that is only found in our Lord and Savior.
We still have lots of work and activities to do over the next 12 days. This coming Wednesday evening, we will take our youth to Casa Kairos to sing Christmas Carols for the people there. Casa Kairos is a home for children with cancer and their families.
We also have people arriving during these days. We had an intern, Megan Goodwin, arrive the 10th who will be helping until she leaves on Christmas morning. James Wirrell arrives for a couple weeks the 16th, and out daughter Felicita will arrive on the 18th!
Busy, but very, very fulfilling!