It is the middle of winter in our neck of the woods, and we are rather enjoying it. That’s not to say the temperature hasn’t dropped –it has been a couple of degrees overnight on several occasions. There is no heating in the house so if the sun doesn’t come out it stays a tad chilly inside. But we’ll get through it. And we think often of our frozen friends and family up north.
Our Christmas this year certainly had a different feel to it. Besides the lack of snow, we were missing family, Christmas carols, a fireplace, and oliebollen, among other things. Instead, we worked on both starting our own family traditions and enjoying the Mexican ones. We exchanged gifts, made pizza, watched a movie, and slept in a blanket fort in the living room. So, while we were sad to be far from the familiar sights and sounds of Christmas in Canada, we were content to be in our new home, getting used to the different sights and sounds of México.
The sadness of missing family was easily drowned out by the joy of celebrating the birth of Christ. He is at the center of Christmas after all, and it was good to be reminded of that. The traditional fixings and trimmings of past Christmases fell away and it was Christ who remained. We can celebrate him wherever we are and whoever we are with. No need for snow either.
As we enter into the New Year, we are excited for what lies ahead. There is of course some fear and worry mixed in with the excitement, but that is par for the course. God has been so faithful to us in the past year and we are eager to see what he will do in the next year. Here is a quick list of what is on the calendar for the upcoming year:
- Both our parents will come visit (and Annemarie’s brother and his wife)
- Scott will begin teaching English at Pan de Vida for one day a week – this fills a need at Pan de Vida and will give us occasion to get to know the kids better.
- Baby #4 will arrive in March/April!
- We hope to focus more of our efforts on one particular neighbourhood, while still exploring other avenues of ministry.
- An internship in Tepic, México with Matt and Annemarie VanDyken is planned for the summer/autumn.
Besides all our own plans, there are the plans of God which we know nothing about just yet. We are praying he uses us here and gives us the wisdom and guidance we need. We can already see some things taking shape and have been encouraged by that. So keep praying that we would continue to lean not on our own plans and understanding, but on the faithfulness of God who is able to do far more than we can ask or imagine.