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DSCN0142 Christmas is a pretty awesome time of year especially when you are in the States with your family and friends.  But Christmas always evokes the

 

 

question, “What is the real meaning and purpose of Christmas?” Is it merely a time to enjoy spending with those we love while not experiencing the hassle of a work schedule, eating scrumdillyicious meals and treats, being awed by the lights, decorations and smells, or opening presents from Santa? Or is it something more? Of course in Africa you’re going to get an entirely different kind of experience; at least we have so far. Forget all the above items and go for the barebones of Christmas is a more accurate representation of Christmas in Ethiopia and Tanzania. Haven’t seen any Christmas lights or a rush on presents at the outdoor markets. I have seen a lot of people preparing to take time off to stay home with their family and celebrate the King’s birth.  The Muslims continue to work at Christmas providing last minute necessities of a Christmas meal or any other needed item, but basically, it’s Jesus most Africans are celebrating.  Everywhere Chuck and I go, the people of Africa want to hear about Jesus… even many of the Muslims.  DSCN0125

“What can be better than that? Yesterday was marvelous.  Practically everyone we talked to said the salvation prayer.  It was the way the Holy Spirit put the words in our mouths. There are many more like us who really understand what life is about.  There’s nothing as awesome as the gospel,” says Chuck as he glances over at me writing this blog.  It’s true, our lives are radically changing from helping the poor with income generating programs to helping the poor by knowing who they are in Christ Jesus.  When people have the spirit of Jesus in their hearts they become hot fire brands, unbeatable and unstoppable in anything they attempt to accomplish because the Lord is with them.  In the U.S. this sounds implausible, in Africa it’s a reality.  In fact anywhere we go in the world it’s a reality, but God is looking for hungry, searching, eager people to know the truth… the real meaning of life.

I’ve been a psychologist, and Chuck a probation officer, we’ve owned houses, raised children, lived the best and fullest lives possible and it wasn’t enough.  Enough… Jesus is enough…. God is enough… the Lord is enough.

We’re in Tanzania to begin new travels to touch the lost with the love of Christ.  We don’t have to travel far, just right outside our door, but God has a plan for us to go to Sierra Leone and we are on our way.  Little by little we are learning the ways of the Kingdom of God: how to reach the Muslim, the lost, the downcast, the broken, the maimed, the sick. God’s the only way.  What an adventure. What a celebration of who God is and what He has done! Come with us on our journey. I’ll make a commitment to write in this blog every week, and you may read it and find out what God’s doing over here in this corner of the world.  It’ll inspire you, maybe it’ll change you forever.

Have a merry, love-filled Christmas. We’ll write to you next week.

Love, Claire and Chuck