Christmas in SE Asia… never thought this would be the location I’d spend the Christmas holidays in! Evan and Alycia went to great lengths to make sure we had some feeling of home (though nearly impossible to do considering most of the country doesn’t celebrate Christmas/birth of Christ). On Christmas Eve they found an Italian restaurant that had fantastic atmosphere. They then gave us stockings with things from home that they knew we’d enjoy. For example: Karin got a Monster and I got chocolate covered coffee beans. Very special and enjoyable evening :). On Christmas they got together a breakfast that included foods from our traditions back home. The morning and part of the afternoon was very relaxed. In the afternoon we went to a Christmas service where we were asked to put on a skit so we reenacted the Christmas story… one where the audience had to use their imaginations due to our lack of props! Christmas all-in-all was very good though being away from home did bring up a lot of emotions and various other actions but we were able to pull together as a team during this time, supporting one another as we were away from family and loved ones.
For Boxing Day our leaders appointed us students to create a get together with the friends we had made so far. So we invited those we felt we wanted to get to know better, our Buddhist friends, over to our guest house and had refreshments and snacks. Was an awesome time just getting to know these people better.
For the rest of the week we created events that would increase our contact with these friends, such as our ‘Pagoda Day’. Since they kept volunteering we took them up on the offer of them showing us one of their most famous temples – the SD Pagoda. We wanted this to be a day where we would learn more about what they believed and in turn share about what we believe and why.
Our week ended off with a day off and church on Sunday, where we connected with fellow believers from the church and encouraged their ministry here.
I have very much enjoyed my time here in SE Asia, though I do feel the wear of a continuously bustling city. As a country/town girl I find the constant flow of people and noise to be exhausting. I’d like to think I’m adapting but some days I’m exhausted after a bus ride to our destination! Oh and the heat, don’t forget the heat. Winter is passing and the days are getting alot warmer. Please pray for continued energy for everyone in the group here as well as continued courage to share the gospel!!