Christmas Blessings to our family and friends and anyone else who happens to read this blog! We truly hope you know and understand where true peace and joy come from...Jesus, our King, was born on Christmas to bring hope and healing. We are all lost without him. We have to acknowledge our lost state before we can truly appreciate the GIFT!
So, here in Haiti, it really is only a dream of a white Christmas! We will have a very green Christmas with palm trees and beautiful tropical scenery! Did you know that poinsettias actually grow here? Instead of being nicely potted and tied with a bow, sitting on someone's mantle, they are growing in yards! Besides that, we can wear flip flops Christmas caroling, wear a tank top while baking cookies, hang lights outside without freezing our hands off, and play softball and have dinner on the patio on Christmas Eve! But, before you Midwesterners start to get jealous, it's a little difficult to get in the Christmas spirit when you are surrounded by things so foreign from what you've grown up with your whole life. You can't recreate an Illinois Christmas in Haiti, but you can create new traditions and new memories and [try to] embrace the positives of living here! Praise the Lord we can celebrate Jesus anywhere and any day of the year!
We are thankful we were able to travel back to IL in November to enjoy Deer Season (a holiday in itself:)) and Thanksgiving! We have been back in Haiti about a month now. The kids are working hard at school (I think), Kurt is very busy at the hospital with year-end contracts and other stressful things, and I am trying to keep up with the Dr.'s hotel, feeding our very hungry children, and praying my way through each day as I feel such deep dependence on God almost every time I turn around (this even includes grocery shopping, getting the mail, taking a walk, and any time I hear someone say Madam Kurt at my door). But I try to remind myself that anything that makes us cry out to God is a blessing to us.
(Pictures were chosen and captioned by Toby and Joan)
our Christmas picture (do all kids love to play on escalators, or is it just kids from Haiti?)
helping unload the sea container
Barry and Joyce came and visited
mom and dad took a trip for a weekend while Barry and Joyce were here
fall party hosted by Carrie and the Hilltop House!
dad roasted his own coffee beans from coffee trees here in Haiti
mom and Raya made butter braids
Enjoying pretzel bites with Anna and Kaitlin.
We enjoyed spending an evening with David and Orrin and Cass in IL! So happy the kids haven't forgotten us yet:)
Illinois!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we loved the cold weather
we ate out several times during our two week trip
lots of time spent with cousins
all three of us boys got a deer!!!!!
we went on several coon hunts
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!
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