Feliz Navidad 2011


The holiday season is here and preparations for the event will not only vary from person to person but culture to culture.  Ultimately, the season has historical significance that has slowly been distorted. The mere fact that one is a Christian does not always allow the true meaning of this blessed event to be at the forefront of our thoughts.  It takes a conscious effort.  We have been blessed with the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in a culture that can only do so in the most basic way.

Each candle is worth 9 years!!

The past two years have shed light on many differences between our two worlds.  Our blue world (US) has high speed, low prices and varieties beyond belief, while our yellow world (Honduras) has low speed, high prices and few and sometimes no choices.  Now that we are officially green, we can say that neither color is truly better.  Each has its own merits. The availability and affordability of technology within the developed nations has without a doubt impacted societies around the world in ways that we could not possibly have imagined.  No longer are computers and cell phones items of luxury.  For some, the  smart phone or laptop might as well be considered an additional appendage to our own being, not realizing that we are sometimes giving greater priority to the messages coming into our inboxes than the people standing directly in front of us. The Honduran culture is predominantly Christian and has a clear understanding of the meaning of Christmas.  They have no other choice than to keep things simple.  High unemployment and for those that are fortunate enough to have a job, the low wage does not allow for many indulgences.  The end result being a season that is calm and quiet. No last minute shopping and definitely no need for post holiday dieting.  Their season is about family getting together and retelling stories while eating a traditional meal and most of all appreciating the things that God has given them.

Our faith journey has brought us to a place that has allowed us to be a part of a culture that exists without many of the things that we take for granted.  Cold showers, clothes dried by the sun and dependency on public transportation have been just a few of the things that we have become accustomed to.  Will we continue to maintain these practices?  Probably not, but the experiences will certainly allow our family to be more appreciative of all that we have. In November, we were blessed by some visitors from Durango- Mick Souder & Linda Schwinghammer, as well as Harald Jordan.  What fun we had showing them Mazapan, the community in which we work, as well as sharing our lives with them!  They brought down many needed items that will help continue our programs and projects.  The teaching material arrived just in time as the new school year is right around the corner.  The final shipment of soccer gear donated by Durango Youth Soccer and Durango High will begin its second life as the second annual Durango Cup gets closer.

Our hope is to have the Durango Cup serve as the grand opening of the new multi-use court.   We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Lance & Erin Hamlin and their family, whom will spend Christmas with us here.  Such faith it takes, to step out and come see us and experience things first hand. We are currently updating our website to reflect upcoming sponsorship opportunities.  We will send a post again when this becomes available.  The new school year starts in February and we are praying that we’ll be able provide more children with a bilingual education as well as internship opportunities.  We’ve  identified several new students who would benefit from your generosity.  Merry Christmas to all!

 

4 replies
  1. kari tillotson
    kari tillotson says:

    Feliz Navidad!
    Hi,
    So glad to get your Christmas letter. We too had a very simple Christmas and I am so thankful that we don’t have much (financially) because we are reminded to be greatful for the huge blessing we have in Christ Himself. We don’t need material gifts to realize the bounty we have in Christ and each other… our time was spent making little gifts for each other and spending time together and worsgipping God together…. Todd and I both got to sing for the two candlelight services on Christmas eve at First B and I felt more blessed because I got to stand on stage and watch as peoples faces were illuminated by the glow of the light being shared as they lit each others candles. My own Rachel (me nervous that a jacket or person might catch fire because I was not close to monitor) held her candle so still and purposeful as we sang JOY TO THE WORLD …. and yaye… she did not set anything a flame! A peace filled evening reflecting on His birth and salvation. This week between Christmas and New years will be spent preparing for a mission trip to Nicaragua coming in January. Still working on funds but very close. But I must also get some figures together for the CCS 7-8th grade mission trip. So would like to catch up with you this week if possible! Love to your family in the great strong love of Christ, kari tillotson
    and in continued prayer for ya’ll!

  2. Lee/Sandy Campbell
    Lee/Sandy Campbell says:

    You and your work are in our prayers every day!! A blessed and joy-filled Christmas to you all!

  3. Doug Bagge
    Doug Bagge says:

    Mike,

    Sitting here (Cortez) in a coffee shop looking outside with snow on the ground and blue sky high above, I can only praise God for each day I have no matter where I am. I appreciate getting your updates. My situation here in Cortez is in a holding pattern but if things change we may have a 6 week block of time where we would be very interested in coming down your way. May your family and community be blessed this Christmas and the coming year.

  4. Rodd Newman
    Rodd Newman says:

    You guys are so great! I love seeing your email updates. The simplicity you speak about and actually spending time with freinds and family makes me jealous.
    Your statement about people making their in box a larger priority over a person right in front of them is so true, painful, but true. It’s ok to leave our phones in the car once in a while.
    God bless!
    Merry Christmas!!
    Rodd Newman

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