We had been on the field for a little over a month.
Everything was still a whirlwind.
We were trying to adjust right in the heart of the Christmas season. It was difficult, but we were determined to make the best of it. We found ways to make it feel like Christmas in a country where Christmas is a foreign concept. We decorated, baked, sang, and shopped the best we could. It was beginning to feel very Christmasy, but we still missed family. We missed the fun we had together. We missed the Christmas dinner and the games. We just missed being with family on the holidays.
The grandparents called us and scheduled a Skype call on Christmas morning. We couldn't wait! We wanted to hear their voices and see their faces. When we got up Christmas morning, we were ready!
And this is what we saw...
In the States, we had our Christmas traditions.
Tree farm... tractor ride... hot cocoa... music in the background as we decorated the tree and the house... Christmas lights plastered all over the house... dinners with family and friends... church Christmas plays...
In the States, Christmas was everywhere. It was anywhere. It was in the smell of the air. The sights. The sounds. The feel. Christ's birth. Something really worth celebrating and celebrating big.
We had just arrived on the field.
Two weeks later, Thanksgiving was here and gone and the Christmas season was upon us. But something I didn't realize... something I neglected to bring... something we would miss dearly...
The Christmas atmosphere.
God blessed abundantly when He chose our home. It was picked out before we came to Southern Asia. We had friends who looked for months for a home for us. We had given them a budget limit and some ideas of things that would be nice to have in a home, but we made it clear that we had no real expectations. Whatever God provided, we would be content. But when they saw this home, there was no doubt that God had picked it. They secured the home and then called us to let us know they found one. The price was almost half what it was worth because the home had been vacant for over a year. There were several items of furniture that were still in the home for us to use, saving us lots of money.
I know, I know.
Christmas isn't trees and presents and food...
I know it's about Christ's birth. Our family knows it, too. But oh how we enjoy making a huge celebration out of His birth! We want to shout it from the mountain tops! It's an exciting event that made our salvation possible! It SHOULD be celebrated! But there is a problem...
Let me show you what Christmas looks like here.
This first picture is what it looks like here on a typical day here...
It is the only thing hungrier than my teenage son.
It can gobble up food, time, and money faster than you can call 911!
And it can bring a grown woman to tears.
It's... the pantry!