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Merry Christmas from Ghana

Merry Christmas to all of you! As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, many gather with friends and family. Since we are so far away from family, we don’t get to experience that blessing in the same way. At this time of year we miss our families and the time that we could be sharing with them. We are grateful for their sacrifice in that they are willing to allow us to be here instead of there with them. We did have the enjoyment of skyping with family again this year, which makes us feel so much closer.
Since being here for the third Christmas now, I thought that I would have less of a struggle being apart from our families. As we entered December, I found it to be untrue. ‘It just doesn’t seem like Christmas’ kept going through my mind, as I sat sweating while sitting underneath the fan thinking of all the excitement and family time that surrounds Christmas when we are in the US. I felt that way for several days, until God reminded me again that I spend too much time focusing on all the ‘extras’ of Christmas. This glorious day is about His birth, not about where we are or who we are near or what fun things we get to do. Basically, it’s not about me. It is good to enjoy seeing the lights and decorations, going caroling, gathering with friends and family for celebrations, giving gifts to each other…, but that does not make Christmas. Christmas is still Christmas without decorations, without gifts, without food, without friends and family. This is a day completely about celebrating God. God, the creator of the universe, loved us so much that He left His glorious heavenly kingdom to become a feeble baby. He did this knowing that He would grow up being misunderstood and then beaten and killed as a sacrifice, so that we could have a relationship with Him.
At church on Sunday, we were reminded about this wonderful gift, and then challenged to share this with others. What better way to show our gratefulness to God for what He did than to tell others. Isn’t that what we do when we get a gift that we are excited about? We go and show everyone this wonderful present. Then I was blessed to see my daughter try to tell people in the hospital yesterday about Jesus in Mampruli. All she knew how to say was Jesus loves you very much, but she told several people with such excitement. It reminds me of the song “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” She wanted to go everywhere to tell people about God’s love for them.
This challenged me to try to talk with a Muslim woman in town. God has had me praying for her for about 2 months now. I went by to take her a ‘Christmas box’ and to tell her that Jesus loves her. She speaks very little English, so I didn’t think that I would be able to say much more. When I went, she had a few of her granddaughters there who spoke English and would translate some of what we were saying. By the end of our conversation, she said that she would like to believe in Jesus, but she wanted to wait until she could go to church. I invited her to come to church with me on Sunday, but she said that she couldn’t go (her daughter just had a baby, so she won’t be able to go to church for a few weeks). This is where her granddaughters lost interest in translating for me. Unfortunately, I won’t be here to follow up with her for a while, but please be praying for her. Pray that God would open her eyes to the true gift of Christmas and that she would pursue after it. Pray that God would put believers in her path who can speak Mampruli or her native tongue who will lead her to Christ and disciple her. Pray that God will continue to give us opportunities to pray and share Jesus with towns people and patients.Thank you for your continued support through prayer! It is one of the best gifts that you can give to us.

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