Okay, we've now had a couple of days to rest, recover, recuperate, relax, whatever you want to call it, so it is about time to report how things went!
I am pleased to report that all went very well, the only non-positive comment would be that there were fewer people attending this year than in the past years. That was a tad disappointing in that we were expecting more from the requests and contacts we had. One remark was that we have had some cold afternoons and evenings and lots of kids are a little sick so many people stayed home.
However, for those that were there it was a wonderful time!
We began in the morning with a couple of our youth coming to our house to help us get ALL of the stuff ready to go. The bus arrived about 1 PM at our house and we loaded everything on it. We then went and picked up all of our youth team and headed to Casita Benjamín.
Like last year, when we arrived, I just told the team, "First thing, we need to decorate" and let them go.
In hardly any time at they had the place looking FANTASTIC!
|Decorating & getting ready!|
Once everything was ready, we dedicated our time to the Lord, for His glory, and then waited for the guests to arrive.
|Dedicating our time to the Lord in prayer before guests arrive!|
The people began to arrive and our youth entertained the children while the adults enjoyed some Christmas music inside.
|Playing with the children|
After giving some time for people to arrive, we began by having the children join the adults inside and our youth led all in singing many Christmas Carols.
|Singing Christmas Carols|
After singing Carols, we sent the children back outside to the patio, where our youth had a program for them while the adults heard a message about the hope we only find in Christ.
The children saw a skit performed by our youth about Christmas being a birthday celebration for Jesus!
Then after the skit they had a presentation with pictures explaining the Christmas story.
|Performing a skit for the children|
After the programs, our youth served all a tamale dinner, with ponche and Sandi's famous Christmas cookies for dessert! After it was cleaned up, gifts were passed out to all the children, and each family received a canasta de viveres (basket full of basic goods).
Then we cleaned up and loaded all back on the bus to head for Las Aldeas!
|Having fun on the bus!|
One of the highlites each year for the youth has been the bus ride back! This year was no exception! They were pumped up and it was fun! We gave each one a diploma to commemorate their service, and also a gift as a thank you!
This year, we returned to Las Aldeas, the home where these kids all live. There are 13 houses on site, with around 120 kids total. Christmas is a depressing, sad, boring time normally for them, so we wanted to help build some GOOD Christmas memories for them.
We served them all a tamale dinner just like at the Casita, and then we set up our projector and watched the movie Polar Express with them!
They loved it!
|Serving Tamales again at Las Aldeas|
We want to thank you all so much for your prayers and support for this wonderful evening. It is a couple of full months worth of work to prepare, but is a HUGE blessing for many, many people.
We are blessed beyond imagination by being involved, and couldn't do it at all without all of you behind us.
A big thank you also to Wildwood Church, a major supporter for this year! May the Lord bless you for your help and multiply all you have done!