Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas joys for girls and boys!

What a fun day Kelly and I had! Wow -- it's been a long time since I could say every single minute of a day was a total delight.We began our sewing class with a bunch of extra guests. Bhutanese refugees crowded into our room to watch what we were doing and sign up for the start of the new January class. You can see the concentration on their faces as they tried to understand our English instructions.With our six regular class members, we finally got down to the business of sewing our brand new project -- fabric grocery bags! I sewed a bag while the ladies gathered around and listened intently.Then everyone got busy pinning . . .and sewing . . . and ironing . . .This precious lady worked in the most comfortable position for her -- cross-legged on the floor -- even though she is seven months pregnant! Could you do this?Toward the end of class, we passed out Christmas presents. At each place where we gave gifts, we had the blessing of sharing the reason why we give -- because God first loved us and gave us the gift of Jesus Christ who was born to show us His love, died to show us His sacrifice, and lives again to show us His promise of eternity in His presence.

These warm scarf and glove sets were given by two Missouri churches -- First Baptist Camdenton and Grace Evangelical Free church in Jefferson City. Thank you very much!
After sewing class, Kelly and I met with two staff from the Women's Refugee Network. They are going to partner with us as we work to create a well-rounded micro-enterprise for our women.

Then we set off to visit one of our Muslim friends from Sudan. After sharing gifts for her and her husband, we drove to the home of another Sudanese woman. She and her three children are from Darfur. We gave more gifts from both Missouri churches as well as from Vineyard Church in Atlanta. How pretty she looks in her new scarf. And she'll enjoy her cherry blossom scented bath soaps and lotions, too!

I don't think I've ever heard quite as many squeals of joy as the moment we set out these pretty pink toys for our friend's three daughters!

Having missed out on the joy of having daughters myself, I just loved watching these girls exclaim with delight as they opened a Barbie kitchen and car, a crown with little clip on earrings, and several other dolls and toys. Kelly and I confessed we were both Barbie lovers, and we haven't quite gotten over it even to this day!
At our final home of the day, we visited our family of 10 Burundians. As always, the house was crowded with extra guests of all ages. The big red firetruck was a hit . . . So were the two soccer balls . . .
and a set of soft farm animals for the littlest member of the family.You would think the "extra" children visiting might feel jealous. Nope! They had fun looking at the toys with their friends and anticipating the playtime they would all share.

In case you're wondering why we love working with refugees . . .
Here are a few shining reasons for our joy!
Bye-bye, and Merry Christmas to one and all!

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