Sunday, 16 December 2018

Preparing for Christmas...

It's that time of year! Christmas is nearly here and I'm getting very excited. This will also be my last blog post of the year. On 24th I will be flying back to the UK until 31st. It will be a very busy, hectic visit but I'm looking forward to it and hopefully I will be able to catch up with lots of people. Please be praying for me as I travel to England and as I travel around the country.

Christmas here is different to the UK. Although there is a Christmas market, events at church and lights all over the city, it just doesn't feel the same. I think it's the first time that I've really missed something from England. I'm not homesick, I just wish some of the traditions we have they also had here. Although there is no traditional food and no carols by candlelight, there are plenty of fun things going on. This week has been very busy for, hence why I'm writing this on Sunday rather than Friday. On Friday night we had a progressive supper with the youth group. We started at one house before moving to a second and then a third. The theme was Christmas around the world. The first house served us Indian food and we were told about how the host had become a Christian from a Hindu background. The second house was American. I've learnt this week that Christmas in America is actually very different to the UK. I just presumed it would be the same but in fact many of our traditions have not survived the crossing over the Atlantic. The third course was Australian. Although they celebrate during their summer, most of their traditions are from the UK so I felt most at home there eating mince pies and Christmas cake. It was a bit strange eating kebabs with them though...
This event was a good opportunity for all of us including the youth to hear about how different people became Christians and what things are like in their cultures.

The ladies at church also had an event yesterday. I gave a talk on the importance of Christmas to me. It was the first time I'd given a Christian talk. I'm not afraid of talking in front of people and you can probably tell from me writing a frequent blog that I quite like writing. I think the talk was appreciated but I wasn't quite happy with the way I gave it. I'd memorised it all but of course all the words disappeared from my mind when I actually came to speak. It wasn't nervousness but it's still different saying something in front of people rather than just by myself to my wall.
The rest of the event was really good and encouraging. We made these small models of Mary and Joseph and I was quite pleased with how mine turned out. When I say made, I mean we painted and assembled rather than actually doing anything with the wood. We had a good time of fellowship and ended with singing Christmas carols. Carols are fairly new to my church and so we tried learning the descants to a couple. It was such a joyful sound hearing all the different parts coming together.

This week we also have more events. On Friday and Saturday we will be having a stall trying to advertise the church and the Christmas service on 23rd. Please be praying that we will be able to speak to people and invite them along. Please also be praying for the service on 23rd. The kids will be performing a nativity (+ rap) and of course there will be lots of Christmas music and a Christmas message. Please be praying for everyone involved in all these preparations and that people will come along and hear about the real meaning of Christmas.

Anyway, if I don't get to see you in the coming weeks please have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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