Sitting here in Monrovia reading everyone's facebook posts about the snow in North Carolina makes it almost possible to imagine snow outside my own door. White Christmas...sigh...
We enjoyed talking/emailing/chatting/facebook posting with many of you over the last few days. It has made all of our friends and family seem not so far away. We celebrated the holiday with a few new friends here in Monrovia and I'd love to show you some pics. but alas my (Jessica) computer decided to die a violent death on Christmas Eve. I'll upload some pictures soon! Bear with me over the next couple of weeks while I await a new computer. I had just gotten a system of blogging/emailing worked out and it was all going so smoothly...a little too smoothly I suppose...arghhhhh...All that to say that Kyle and I are sharing a computer currently...double arghhhhh
Our holiday was uneventful which in Liberia is a wonderful thing! We were really hoping for some uneventfulness! We have been able to spend some time resting and relaxing before jumping back into addressing the refugee crisis and all the other work that we are responsible for.
What did Santa bring us for our Liberian Christmas?Kyle gave me a new bottle/can opener for Christmas and I gave him a set of three long stem lighters...Romantic gifts, eh?
We had to do our shopping at the grocery. Don't ask.
I hosted my first Christmas dinner...ever...How ironic is that? It was a feast by Liberian and American standards complete with roast chicken, salad (a miracle in Liberia), stuffing (a new recipe that I will definitely be keeping in the repertoire), roasted vegetables, chocolate cake, lambingtons (cake dipped in chocolate courtesy of our Australian friends!), and various other sundry items. Our new friends helped out to make this feast truly delicious and special! Thanks to Nich, Finley, Justin and Ailsa! 3 out of our 6 guests were from Australia and Great Britain and had never had the joy of watching Christmas Vacation...you know...Chevy Chase...the whole bit...a Hoover family tradition. Luckily our friend Justin had it on his iPhone and we were able to watch it on a real t.v.! So we introduced our new friends to a true American classic after dinner!
As I expressed in previous posts this year has been a year to truly reflect on the precious meaning of Christmas. I always spend time meditating on the season, but this year I experienced the season in a way that I won't soon forget. I hope that even though most of you are not far from home this season, and certainly not in Liberia, that you experienced Christmas in a new and fresh way. I ("we" rather because I know Kyle would wish you the same!) pray you have been overwhelmed by God's grace, love and provision through His Son, Jesus.
It gives us strength to go on...courage to be obedient...so on we go to the next week!
This coming week will officially mark two months in Liberia for us! Can you believe it? We will head back upcountry to Ganta on Tuesday. Kyle will be directing his WATSAN team all over Nimba county to respond to water and sanitation needs in the communities directly affected by the refugee situation. Please continue your prayers for Kyle as he has a lot on his shoulders until some of our co-workers come back from holiday to provide some relief.
Weekly Prayer Needs:
Pray for the Ivory Coast. The situation is not improving and there will likely be more refugees in the coming weeks.
Pray for opportunity to minister the Gospel in word and deed.
Pray for the Church in Liberia to be encouraged and grow despite many tribal/cultural barriers and divisions.
Pray that we will be encouraged by other believers working in Liberia.
Pray that we would continue to develop strong relationships with the EQUIP's Liberian staff.
Read the most recent letter from the Waines family for more details about EQUIP Liberia's work and their families commitment to Liberia!