Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


 This past month has flown by like no other. Evan and I graduated from the Harvest School (a missions training school through our organization) after visiting three different Iris Bases and many different classes and teaching. As we visited different bases we were amazed to see how God is at work at different bases in Mozambique and South Africa--all the while, we waited eagerly to get back to Zimpeto to see our girls.

Arriving back at Zimpeto the first week of December, Evan and I were overwhelmed as we pulled into the centre by a swarm of girls and boys all calling our names. Their numerous hugs and kisses made for the best kind of welcome home. In the few weeks we were away, we certainly missed them a lot.

Now I must admit that preparing presents for 66 girls with distinctive tastes and colour preferences brought Christmas to a whole new level. I am so grateful to have had the chance to work with Fiona, another missionary who oversees the girls dorm with me. She has been here for six years and carries a wealth of wisdom and knowledge when it comes to each girls tastes and preferences. Rachel likes blue and Jessica likes pink--or is it is the other way around?!? I have so much to learn!

The days leading up to Christmas felt a little strange at first and we wondered whether it would ever be possible to really feel like Christmas here in Mozambique. Instead of snow and cold, temperatures here rose to over 37 C (yes, that's right all my Canadian friends--that is not a typo!). Being away from home for the first time over the holidays was a little odd. Away from the familiarity of traditions, it really forced us to reflect on what Christmas is all about--the birth of the miraculous, Jesus. As the days got closer and closer, and as we pressed into God more and more, that Christmas feeling suddenly started to fill the air. And ultimately, when you have girls jumping up and down in excitement for Christmas, its hard not to get excited. I have so many magical memories of Christmas as a child and getting to share Christmas with our 66 little ladies brought so many of those special memories back to life.


For some of the girls, it was their first Christmas here at the Centre, meaning that it was their first time ever to receive Christmas gifts. Watching them experience Christmas for the first time was like nothing else! We started the morning by passing out the new clothing. Each girl received a new skirt, shirt and pair of underwear. After the girls received their clothing they quickly went and got changed into their new outfits and performed a dance of gratitude. Then we passed out the gifts; each girl received a napsack full of little gifts such as skipping ropes, dolls and pencils.

One of my favourite memories was watching one of our youngest girls receive presents for the first time. I chuckled to myself when despite the napsack full of little trinkets, she was most amused playing with the ribbon that had wrapped her clothing. My next favourite memory would have to be the candlelight service singing christmas carols with the kids which reminded me so much of so many special Christmas Eve Services growing up.

Check out our quick video capturing some of the highlights of our first Christmas at Zimpeto. Experience the magic of seeing some children receive gifts for the first time and even a few angels singing.


Wishing you a Merry Christmas from our family to yours!