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Christmas In Africa!

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I really shouldn’t have posted that picture of the snake in the schoolhouse because it was a bit premature.  Lots of pretty cool things happened before then that I’d like to share with all of  you.  So forgive me and I promise I will get to explaining that picture soon.

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May I preface these pictures by expressing my gratefulness to God for making it possible for us to share this Christmas with our son and his family.  It’s not cheap, as you can imagine, to fly to Africa.  But thanks to God, His provision made it possible.  Our joy could not be measured.  The memories we made (which as you know is a really big deal to me) will be cherished and returned to time and time again-sustaining us in those moments when being apart becomes difficult.

Never underestimate God’s provision – esp. you missionary parents.  Just ask God to make a visit possible, then just be prepared for God to do what to you may seem impossible.

FIRST THINGS FIRST!

Shepherd's all decked out in his Christmas clothes!

Shepherd’s all decked out in his Christmas clothes!

Nammy holding Shepherd while Mom & Dad open Christmas presents.

Nammy holding Shepherd while Mom & Dad open Christmas presents.

Bet Maridith will be trying out some of these recipes!

Bet my daughter-in-law will be trying out some of these recipes!

Granma Warren's  Banana Spice Cake - all the way from the USA

Granma’s Banana Spice Cake – all the way from the USA

Shepherd's 1st Stocking - all the way from the USA

My Grandson’s 1st Stocking – fresh from Nammy’s mantel!

We celebrated Christmas just a couple of days after the fact but just as soon as we could when we got to Africa.  We traveled across the ocean with 5 lockers packed with items our son and daughter-in-law needed and along with their Christmas presents, plus their stockings (that traditionally hang on my mantel).  Of course, this was a momentous Christmas because it was my grandson’s first and Nammy was making sure he got his stocking.

This was our first Christmas with our son being in Africa.  So, it was interesting to see how it played out.  With a newborn grandson celebrating his very first Christmas, it was a given that Nammy & Grandaddy (at least) would represent the family in welcoming him.  I know my daughter’s arms were aching to hold their brandnew baby nephew.  While they didn’t get to hold him, thanks to a video chat shortly after he was born, they all did get to see him – even his Great Granma Warren and Great Granma Lane.

The next 3 weeks the Jr & the Sr Lanes romped all over this country enjoying a vacation packed with bonding moments and creating memories that we will savor all our lives.  In my next post I’ll share some of those memories with you.

In the meantime, you’ll never guess the name of the river we are cruising down!

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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GIVE TO LOTTIE MOON CHRISTMAS OFFERING!

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http://www.imb.org/main/give/page.asp?StoryID=5523&LanguageID=1709Lottie Moon past and present

• 2012 goal: $175 million
• 2011 receipts: $146.8
• 2010 receipts: $145.6 million
• 2009 receipts: $148.9 million
• $3 billion given since offering’s inception
• $3,315 collected in 1888 for first offering, enough to send three women to China

How much does it cost to support a missionary?
• $49,800 a year (average)
• $4,150 a month
• $958 a week
• $136 a day
Reported May 2012. Support includes housing, salary, children’s education, medical expenses, retirement and more.

IT’S LOTTIE MOON CHRISTMAS OFFERING

TIME AGAIN!

(And that’s a very good thing!)

I pulled the statistics above from the website listed and posted them here for your benefit.Statistics can be a very dry read but being the parent of a missionary, these figures become quite personal.  Because I know that people who are not involved with missions as I am, tend to overlook an offering such as Lottie Moon, I hope that God can use something I blog here to spark your interest and motivate you to want to give to this offering.  

WHY, you may ask?

If you will notice, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has not met its goal for the past several years.  Yet, the figures for supporting our missionaries continues to rise.   For me, as the mom of a missionary, this is alarming!  Oh, I know we are facing harsh economic challenges here in our own country and that might cause us to assume that we can’t give to LM this year. After all, it’s Christmas time and we need to do all that we can to provide what Christmas we can for our own. I am in sympathy with that.  That’s why people have to make giving to LM a deliberate matter of prayer.  God knows what He’s able to do through us so we need not assume that He is challenged by our meagerness.  But should that be a challenge for God?  Read the following verse before you respond:  

Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:10

I sort of got the feeling the above verse says it all!  

Our missionaries depend on us to do the

following:

 1 – PRAY and ask God what He would have us give to help sustain our missionaries. (and their precious families, like my daughter-in-law and my new little grandson)

2 – OBEY,  once that is made known to us! (We want our missionaries to willingly obey God to tell others about Christ, so we need to be willing to support them so they can!)

3 – GIVE.  In prayerful obedience!  (Remembering, God is not limited by your means, only by your lack of faith! Matthew 13:58)                                                                                                                                                       

I want to personally thank those of you who give to the LM offering.  Because you gave, my son had a truck to drive over the challenging roads of the 2 day trip to take my daughter-in-law to her 6 week visits to the doctor; because you gave, my son has a house for his family and the house has electricity (but not for the first few months, that’s why I am so grateful they have it now since my grandson will soon come there!)  I could go on and on but suffice it to say, because of the support of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, this mom can be at peace knowing my children are being provided for.  And you know what, for all those other parents of missionaries on the foreign field, I say thank you and God bless you for giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering!

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