It is November and that always brings lots for us to do!
First, November is definitely our heaviest birthday month. In November alone on my calendar I have 15 birthdays of family and close people we like to celebrate!
We like to acknowledge our youth especially as for many of them our celebration may be their only celebration!
|Lots of cakes in November!|
Obviously with 15 birthdays in a month of 30 days we need to do some combining sometimes, but we always try to have fun!
And, of course, some of the birthdays are for people not here in Guatemala so we are not actually having a celebration every other day, although sometimes it feels like it!
|Christmas carols in the street!|
Also in November, among all or our 'normal' stuff going on, we begin the process of planning our annual Noche Buena outreach activity.
Noche Buena means Christmas Eve and every year we host a big outreach activity in Zona 3 very near the largest land-fill dump in Central America!
This is a very densely populated neighborhood, one of the very poorest and most dangerous parts of Guatemala.
Most people here cannot afford gifts for their children or even the traditional Guatemalan dinner of tamales and ponche.
Many have never even heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ told to them before.
|Starting the party in the street!|
Each year we go with many of our youth to serve alongside of us, and most of all, we try to just love on the people and give them an afternoon of hope and joy.
We begin by decorating Casita Benjamin where we hold the event. Casita Benjamin is a christian daycare.
As the people begin to arrive we gather them out in the street and we sing Christmas carols, many of the people have never heard them before!
|Some of the kids activities before dinner!|
After singing in the street we then give an evangelical message still out in the street, because by this time we have attracted more neighbors that had not received tickets but came when they heard the music.
After the message and an invitation to accept the Lord, we welcome those with tickets to come inside.
We began giving tickets a few years ago as the event grew because we have limited space and need to plan for dinner, gifts for kids, baskets for families etc.
After the people come in we have two areas, one for children and one for adults. Our youth lead a program for the kids, with a message for them including songs, skits etc.
Meanwhile the adults receive a short message to encourage them in a very difficult life and to explain to them where true hope lies.
|Some of the adults at Noche Buena!|
After dinner and a dessert with Sandi's famous Christmas cookies, we give each family a "Canasta de víveres" which is a basket filled with basic goods. Rice, beans, pasta, sugar, oil, soups, etc etc. There are around a dozen or more things in each basket.
Each child also receives a wrapped Christmas gift, for many it is literally the only gift they will receive.
We will plan for between 200 and 250 people!
It is a day filled with love and joy, but takes a ton of work to bring it all together.
We have many all day activities with our youth in December to get things ready. Making decorations, wrapping 200 gifts, putting 75 baskets together making cookies etc.
All of this after many days going out to gather all of the stuff needed to do all of that!
But, it is so much fun to see the faces when they hear the gospel, when they get a tamale, when they are given a gift!
Obviously, this takes funds to make happen. This is an opportunity for you to be a part of this amazing outreach event. Will you consider helping to make this happen?
The Lord has already provided at this date well over half of what is needed, so we know He will provide the remainder as well.
If you would like to help, you can send a tax deductible gift to:
8625 La Prada Drive
Dallas, TX 75228
Please make sure you include a note that it is for the
Casita Outreach Event account # 062877
Thank you and may God bless you!