Last night we had our Young Adult Volunteer Christmas celebration. Teri, Jennifer and Sarah put together a gingerbread house from gingerbread they baked the night before. Stephen, Jay and I sang Christmas carols. Later we exchanged our “secret Santa” gifts. I got some art supplies from Sarah. She gave me colored pencils, oil pastels, and a drawing pad. She has definitely been paying attention as I recently made a watercolor for Carole, our site coordinator who is retiring.
Jen corresponded with Young Adult Volunteers from years passed, got them to write letters and send photographs, and then compiled them along with our own letters and photos in a scrapbook. The watercolor was my contribution. Carole gave us each a personalized key chain with cartouche that spelled out our names.
As things wound down, Eric, Stephen, Anne Catherine and I started up a doubles table tennis game. We played until 2AM.
Tonight we will leave by bus to travel overnight to the border of Israel and then on to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. We will be there for about a week, including Christmas Day. We will worship at The Church of the Nativity on Christmas Eve. It is the church that is built upon the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. I can’t even imagine all of the people and sites that I will encounter while I am there. What an opportunity this is! I am sure it will be an amazing trip. I do ask that you all say a prayer for us. I can’t help but think about all of the news reports I have seen over the years about this region of the world. I recently spoke to an American named Brice who works at the Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has a history of visiting the Palestinian territories and told me that we would be far from any harm. That was reassuring, but I still ask for your prayers for a safe and fulfilling trip.
I obviously will not be updating my web site until I return, so I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. May the love of our Lord Jesus Christ fill your life with happiness during this Christmas season.
Yours in Christ,