Years end Activities:
Coming down to the end of another year we had several special activities in the church.
First we had the church’s first ever Christmas banquet the Saturday before. It was truly a wonderful time of fellowship and fun. We had some games like two couples wrapping a gift using only one hand each but having to work together. They actually did better than me with two hands. Along with the games, we had singing and Bro. Christian Ching preached about the importance of union and fellowship in the church.
Afterwards, the competition started. Here in Bolivia, there is a dish that is very common during Christmas time. It is called Picana. It is kind of like a soup, but has three types of meat including chicken, pork, and lamb along with vegetables and seasonings. We had a Picana cook off with the ladies in the church, and let me tell you they were all really delicious. This was the first time that I had tried it and I can say I can’t wait for Christmas next year. At the end, we did have to pick the winners but in all everyone had a great time.
Also, we had a New Years activity to give the people of the church an alternative to the activities that they might normally participate in. We had a great time playing games, like tying a balloon to everyone’s ankle and then see who could be the last one standing with their balloon in tact. We divided into two groups, women and men.
One reason that we did this was to try and keep the ladies from getting hurt. After the two groups faced off, I think it might have actually been to keep the men from getting hurt. The last activity that we did was a year-end testimony service. This is an activity that we have always done at my home church and is always a great blessing. We start with the room completely dark with only one candle lit at the pulpit. Then one by one each person comes to the front, lights their candle, and gives a testimony of what the Lord has done in their lives the previous year. It is always moving to hear the people give thanks for their salvation and families and many other things that the Lord has done.
From time to time I like to write about our family and especially our children because what we do here in Bolivia is not just ministry. We do have a family and we are raising children. The part of raising children can have its extra interesting aspects living in another country. Everything from different customs, to learning two languages, at the same time makes you sometimes want to laugh and sometimes almost cry.
The humorous part comes mostly from the language. It is hard to comprehend that they in reality are not learning two different languages but one language just with more ways to say the same thing. Many times they can use both Spanish and English in the same phrase switching back and forth several times before completing their thought.
They might say something like this “Mommy that persona (person) was mirandome (looking at me) and that makes me enojada (mad)”. You can see how sometimes it takes a few minutes to interpret what they are trying to say. Grace is now 6 , Taylor is 4 and Titus is 9 months and almost walking. As each day passes and I recognize how quickly they grow up I realize the importance of giving them the necessary foundation to be the Christians that God wants. If you would like to see a family picture go to kevinwhite.wordpress.com.
Each year at this time we are always overwhelmed with the love and sacrificial giving of so many. As missionaries, it can be difficult being away from family, friends and even the Christmas traditions that are not so common here. The people here and in many Spanish cultures celebrate more on Christmas Eve than on Christmas day. They get together at night with family and have a special meal as it gets close to 12:00 midnight.
Then they sometimes exchange gifts and set off fireworks. Then on Christmas day there really isn’t much activity and some even go back to working like normal. While we were able to celebrate Christmas as a family, it makes a big difference with all the cards and even presents that are sent. Many churches sent extra support and one church (Bible Baptist in Brusnwick Ga) sent almost 20 packages of gifts for our children and us. We are greatly thankful for each special offering, card and gift.
Pray that this upcoming year the Lord will do even a greater work than the last.
Pray for a new class that we are starting called “Christian Growth”.
Pray for all the preparations that we are making before our furlough in June.
Pray for continued protection for our family and especially our children.