The season has definitely been different for us this Christmas 2016.  No hustle and bustle.  No last-minute gifts.  No activities and parties day after day.  No road rage.

We are living on the beach in Ecuador with few distractions and no chaos.  I had commented that it was sad that it really didn’t even feel like Christmas because we weren’t up to our eyeballs in activities.  When life takes a turn and your normal routines or traditions are changed it feels different, but we should never think of it as less than the other traditions and activities we enjoyed in the past.  It’s just different.

This year though was perhaps one of the most enjoyable Christmas experiences I’ve had though!  In the last week, we have had the privilege of being part of two different area groups who filled candy and treat bags for school children.    What a beautiful thing for people to give their time and resources to bring joy to others.  Though we only played a small role in assembling bags, we also had the privilege of being able to attend when the bags were distributed to a small school in Las Gilces Ecuador.  Our friends Jill and Sy headed this one up as this is their community and asked if we would like to be present when they distributed the candy.  Well it wasn’t just a few minutes of handing out candy and leaving, this was an entire morning of fun and enjoying the children as they had their Navidad

fiesta!  There was cake and more cake; a delicious lunch of fish, rice, plantains and salad; games; dancing; and of course the gift distribution.  It truly was a beautiful event and I couldn’t have had more fun than witnessing this.  The children were happy and excited and a few of them said “Thank you” in English as this is pretty much the extent of their English language vocabulary.

Dave and I also made up trays of cookies for neighbors this year.  Scripture says it is more blessed to give than to receive and boy did we experience the joys and blessings of that today.

My hope and prayer is that all those who received feel equally as blessed as I did today!

 

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