Monday, December 24

The best Christmas present of all

Yes, it is hard being away from friends and loved ones at Christmas time. Instead of snow and cold weather, sweat drips down my back as I sit typing this post. Instead of Christmas Carols in the background, I hear salsa music coming from the neighbors house. The door bell rings every few minutes with children asking us for their Navidad (Christmas). We give them as many mangoes as they can carry and send them on their way. Instead of the usual baked goodies and sweets, we enjoyed a great Christmas Eve meal of shrimp ceviche with chicken empanadas. The side dishes were chifles (plantain chips) and popcorn. Of course, to drink, we had thick, sweet mangoe juice!

But the real joy of being a missionary at Christmas time is to stop for a moment and reflect back on all those who through the grace and mercy of God have entered the Kingdom this past year. It is a humbling thing to be a small part of all that God is doing in Ecuador these days.

Yesterday, for example, our family was invited to one of the house churches to share in their Christmas turkey dinner (rice, potato salad with peas, carrots and apples). As I gazed around the hot, humid room, amidst the laughter and smiling faces, it dawned on me that most present were celebrating their first REAL Christmas of knowing Jesus. We attended many of their baptisms this past year. In fact, I counted ELEVEN people present in just this one house church that I was present at their river baptisms! The biggest reward and most meaningful Christmas gift I will get this year is to hear these precious new brothers and sisters address me as hermano Guido (brother Guy)!

Thank you for your prayer support for us here in Ecuador. Thank you for making it possible for us to be here by your gifts to the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. We honestly wouldn't trade places with anyone on earth!

Merry Christmas to all!

4 comments:

negrito said...

Feliz navidad hermano Guido.
We are here with both sets of parents this year, but we also miss you'all and those xmases we shared together as families. Saludos a todos en la iglesia.

GuyMuse said...

Negrito,

Same to you guys! We're having the "gang" over tomorrow afternoon for snacks and games. Wish you could join us!

Evangelism Coach said...

Feliz Navidad mi hermano en Cristo.

I understand well the sense of being away from the snow and in the tropics.

I live in a concrete jungle with insulated windows. It's quite quiet. First time in 35 years i've not been to church on christmas eve.

Different traditions, different environment. Can't say it feels like Christmas (that I grew up with, anyway).

Blessings,

Chris
EvangelismCoach.org

GuyMuse said...

Evangelism Coach,

Whether in a concrete jungle, or in a steamy equatorial coastland, Christmas is about God sending Jesus into this world to save us. We had our Christmas Eve "church" with my wife and two children. It was as special as any pageant I ever attended!