DTS Blog Outreach: Christmas and the Last Week of 2012

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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!!

–MS

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Comments
  • Dan

    Appreciate your blog – blessings to all. I’m soooo glad to hear that Karin got a ‘Monster’ for Christmas- was it green like most monsters? Reminds me of the ‘Green Monster of Pancake Lake, Yukon’: I was in the yard chopping wood when I first heard the sobs. The axe came to rest on the chopping block as I twisted towards the direction of the sound. Kristofer, in great distress, was half running, half walking, dragging his coat and lunch bucket through the fallen aspen leaves littering our driveway. His final sprint into my arms ended with a great gush of tears. Twilight began to descend over Pancake Lake.

    Pancake Lake was our home. My son Kristofer would ride the school bus up to an hour each way to and from his elementary school in Whitehorse. The journey from our house to the main road where the bus stopped was usually via the dirt and gravel road that wound through the Yukon bush for over a mile. However, there was a short cut. When the ground was free of snow Kristofer would often take the “ridge trail”. This trail mostly meandered along the ridges overlooking the valley but occasionally it dipped into the spruce forest or into the valley where beaver ponds like beads on a string interrupted the creek.

    It was late September and fall like the leaves was upon us. The days were short and getting shorter by the hour. That day the sun was low as Kristofer carelessly trudged along the road in no particular hurry to get home for supper. He passed the mud hole and began the ascent to the “high road” when a mysterious forest creature suddenly blocked his path.

    “But Dad, it WAS a monster and I was scared!” the shaking voice was adamant.

    “Well what did it look like?” I asked.

    “It was green and when it moved its bum wobbled.”

    I surveyed the fauna of the Yukon in my mind but no such monster existed.

    “Well how big was it?” I pursued my interrogation.

    “Oh it was big, bigger than Schmutz.” Kristofer replied in a settled voice.

    I mused, “Green, bigger than our cockapoo, Schmutz and its “bum wobbled” when it moved.”

    Making allowance for imagination and fright at seeing such an apparition, I adjusted the image in my mind like a police sketch artist. Aha!

    In the low afternoon light Kristofer had encountered a large porcupine that quickly went into defense mode by turning its back on him and raising its quills for protection from the 5-year-old predator. When the quills are raised the body appears greenish which, in the low light, would be accented further. The mystery was solved and the monster roams freely.

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