We are so excited to be serving in Malawi. We invite you to take this journey with us. Keep the beautiful people of Malawi in your prayers, and us too.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gorgeous Mountains, Gorillas, and God's Gift

We hope this blog finds you plump and merry after Christmas.  What a reason to celebrate with friends, family and anyone!  God's goodness in our lives is overwhelming and so we just wanted to share a few highlights from the last 7 days with you.....

Mt. Mulanje Adventure 
Just before Christmas, Luke went to Mount Mulanje (highest peak in central Africa) with 14 key sports ministry leaders to finish up our 1st ever on-going training that we've been doing with them for the past 3 months.  It was an amazing time where they stood in awe at the beauty of God's magnificent creation and heard from His Word. We are so thankful that everyone arrived back safely down the mountain after the 25 + miles they hiked in 2 days. The trip was exhausting but God really met us there so we praise God for it and many of the leaders were encouraged and empowered to take their local church sports ministry to a new level.  It was an adventure we'll never forget and an amazing discipleship opportunity.
Sports Friends coaches at Mt Mulanje

2nd Annual Christmas Tournament
Last year, we wanted to bless the boys of our community by having a football (soccer) tournament and then share the story of Christmas with them.  Becca did a wonderful job explaining how God made a way for us through sending Himself in the flesh as Jesus.  So, as Christmas rolled around again this year, we said to ourselves, "Why not make this a yearly thing?"  We planned it out, told the boys (who would have been here anyway), and then tried to buy a few things for prizes that would bless the boys and their families.  As usual, by 1 PM there were about 100 kids in our back yard and they were ready to play!  They all had a great time and then Jeremy Ricks shared from His life why Christmas is important to Him as well as sharing a personal testimony that God really used to speak to the boys. We should never stop celebrating the coming of the King!
Christmas Tournament on December 21

Lyzee decorating gingerbread cookies
Christmas Day
Our second Christmas in Malawi. This year we were very intentional in how we celebrated Christmas, especially because Lyzee can now understand and remember much more.  We wanted her to have similar Christmas memories that we had as children, watching funny Christmas movies, decorating cookies, special celebrations with friends and decorating the Christmas tree. But, we also want our family to celebrate Christ's birth in special ways because of what He has called us to do in Malawi. We tried to really focus on Christ's birth as we did advent with Lyzee reading her the Christmas story in different children's books like The Jesus Storybook Bible, Song of the Stars, Charlie Brown Christmas, and Who is coming to Our House? (Just to name a few.) As we prepared to celebrate Christ's coming we wanted Lyzee to know what a gift Christmas is.

Christmas morning. 
Christmas morning was memorable! We saved some Christmas boxes that friends and family sent to us and opened them Christmas morning. Also, each of us got a few simple things for each other. Lyzee got Luke a pair of dress socks from a local store that said, "I love Football" all over the socks and we bought her what she's been longing for since our trip to Ethiopia in October: a gorilla suit. We were able to order it online and our American visitor Jeremy brought it out just in time! She loves it and asks to where it all the time and then jump out from behind things and "scare" us and any visitors at the house. Her life is a joy.

Merry Christmas and we hope you have a blessed and joyful New Year!

Luke, Becca, and our little Gorilla

"For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son...."

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