Friday, November 29, 2013

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.” ― Steve Maraboli

I am usually pretty depressed around Thanksgiving and Christmas since all of our family except for Karen and John are back in the States.  We have a whole lot of family with cousins, siblings, children, and grandchildren.  We got to talk to my oldest son on the phone Thanksgiving and with my sister back in Arkansas.  However, the real reason I'm not depressed this year is that according to the above quote, most of my family is keeping the Christ in Christmas by doing just what the quote says to do.  We had cousins here who have already made a huge impact and are continuing to do so.  We have friends in Boston who ask us what to send us.  We have churches in Arkansas raising money to keep our scholarship students in school, so we can have new, Christian teachers in the schools here.  The favorite cross I have worn for years has been found at Pete's in Arusha just waiting for me to come pick it up.  My daughter-in-law, Brenda, sent me her old iPhone and John is working on getting it unlocked and able for me to use here in Tanzania.  We are feeding over 100 orphans and poor children every day.  Thanks to my Texas cousins (see picture at right), we were able to put new shoes on every orphan and poor child in St. Caryn Pierce Academy, here on our grounds, as well as every child in Karen's English school and six other orphans who we knew about in our neighborhood.  There is nothing that makes us feel as good as giving.  I made a big mistake, accusing a pastor of stealing, but forgave him and asked his forgiveness of me since it was really my mistake for misreading some figures he gave me.  We even had a Muslim join us for Thanksgiving dinner--somehow it just felt right.  We don't have the commercialization of Christmas here; it is a quiet church centered holiday with no gift giving, but we are putting Christ right in the middle of it.  There are some children in Texas who plan to give goats to widows here this Christmas.  If that isn't Christ at work, I don't know what is.
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