I have never been one to hold tightly to traditions, which is a good thing as Christmas overseas in a country that follows another religion is definitely different. This marks my second Christmas season in The Gambia and this year there are only two of us here which makes it very quiet. The quietness has allowed me to really take time and remember the reason for the celebration. That Christ was born on this day died for our sins and was resurrected and is alive today. This is also a time to share that truth with others and to bless them in small ways. I was able to buy breakfast for all of our employees as a small way of saying thank you. Some other employees and elderly members of the village received soft, silky, shiny blankets that were given to us (it is cold here with temps in the low 60’s in the morning and blankets are needed). I was able to thank some of my friends in the village by giving the children soccer balls and lollipops and the adult’s sardines and sugar cookies (hopefully not to be eaten together, yuck!) We had a small dinner with some local believers and it was nice to serve them spaghetti tubaab and share a video about the birth of Christ. Christmas eve will include a sermon via DVD and my plans for Christmas day are to stay in my snoopy Christmas pajamas all day and hang out with my teammate watching hallmark Christmas movies and relaxing. Of course, I had to buy myself a Christmas present as I do every year. This year it was a pair of fun and very tacky shoes as well as re-roofing the thatch roof over my porch. Pictures will come when I have better internet.
I also wanted to stop and thank each of you who are a part of this ministry and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!