WOW! There is no way to describe how many amazing things God did in the month of December! It was packed full of activities, but God’s love was definitely shared over and over again. I am just going to share the main things that happened this Christmas. The pictures hopefully will help you get a better glimpse of what December looked like.
- 60 families from our church and other impoverished families received food baskets which included: sugar, rice, sardines, oil, chocolate, oatmeal, soup noodles, spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, milk, beans, peas, cocoa, jelly, and tea.
- 54 children and special needs women received clothes: pants, shirts, and shoes.
- 3,500 gift bags were made for the Christmas shows. Each gift bag included: 2 bags of noodles, oatmeal, cocoa, cookies, tea, and candy. Besides the cookies and candy, everything other item in the gift bag are Peruvian staples.
- Approximately 3,500 people came to our 10 Christmas shows.
- 8 dress rehearsals for our Christmas shows, approx. 30 actors, and 10 shows in 10 different neighborhoods heard the entire Christmas story from birth to resurrection.
- This year’s drama used 8 different presents to explain the story of the birth of Jesus to the resurrection of Jesus. In each box was a different item and a note/letter explaining the story. For example in one of the boxes were stuffed animal sheep, the letter in the box had the passage of scripture telling about the angels visiting the shepherds. The majority of people were very attentive and seemed to really like the drama. It was amazing to see thousands of people hear about Jesus.
- We had our first ever Christmas celebration with the Special needs women’s home. My dear friend Yolanda lives there. We read the Christmas story, explained the good new of Jesus, made ornaments, decorated a Christmas tree, made Christmas tree crafts, ate lots and lots of snacks, and had a ton of fun. I hope this becomes an annual Christmas tradition.
- We had 2 Carols and Candles services in both of our discipleship classes. Carols and candles, is exactly what it sounds like, it is where you sing Christmas carols and tell the story of Jesus birth using candles. We had a great crowd at both services. It is always one of my favorite times of the year. Of course, in addition to the Christmas service, we also always have to celebrate by eating Paneton (Christmas fruit cake) and drinking hot chocolate (even though it is the summer)!
- Claire Van Arsdale, a UTA student and passionate follower of Jesus, came 3 weeks over her Christmas break to help us. It was great having someone to help at the last weekend of shows, help do the clothes shopping, and help with all the activities at the end of December. It was also great for me to make a new friend and get to celebrate Christmas with a gringa. Everyone hopes that Claire comes back soon!