It is a wonder how the Babe in the manger transforms the way we think and work. Last Sunday Verlin preached in a remote village where he was able to encourage the church’s Community Health Evangelism (CHE) team. They reach out in 5 different villages now. At one of those sites, they recently learned an important lesson. An Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) came through and built latrines for one community and they were planning to come back and help with potable water issues as well. When they returned, though, the NGO workers found that the villagers were not even using the latrines. Discouraged, they cancelled their follow-up project to help provide a well. It was instructive to the local pastor. He saw that outsiders coming and “doing a project” was ineffective since the villagers did not do the work, nor were they even really convinced that it was important. He believes that the way is now cleared that they can plan future projects that will be community-driven using local resources.
From another meeting, we were thrilled to know that a pastor who uses CHE had government workers come to see his grafted orange trees and grafted cashew trees that have been accompanied with a thriving beekeeping industry. The bees are multiplying fruit production and honey consumption. The oranges represent a new market for him and the town, helping to stem rural exodus to cities here. It is a joy to see how our Wonderful Counselor gives wisdom and innovative ideas to His children that we’ve been privileged to encourage along these pathways of obedience.
Out here, our celebration of Immanuel is minus the lights and glitter of one of Deb’s favorite singing groups whose rendition of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” is linked below. Where we worship here will have a Christmas Eve service from 8pm until 11pm. Everyone will return for a short 11:30 am service on Christmas morning, and then we will enjoy a potluck meal together. It is also our joy to have a missionary family with four sons visiting us for about a week. We will have a little more traditional meal later in the day. Whatever your celebration looks like, we wish you a very blessed time of rejoicing in the Son who was given!
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Celtic Woman Sing
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Life and light to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings…
(Clear diction singing via YouTube!)
Your partners in the Gospel,
Verlin and Debbie