Saturday, December 14, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas (A Missionaries Christmas List)

I am so happy to be "Back Home Again in Indiana". For six weeks in October and November, I took 3 separate trips  and every few days I was back "On the Road Again" traveling through 15 different states. I attended 3 missionary conferences, 2 trainings, my CMF commissioning and visited another mission agency. I visited friends, family and even a few camels. So, before I go any farther let me say "Thank You for Being a Friend" to everyone who took me in, fed me, allowed me to share about the ministry in Kenya and helped me learn more about camels and missions.

It was fun to visit states that I had never been in before, especially "Oooooooklahoma" where the wind was "sweeping down the plain" as I drove through. I got to see the leaves "Turn, Turn, Turn" so many beautiful colors everywhere I went. Luckily, I started in Iowa and ended up in Texas, getting out of both of those states just before the snow and ice hit them. Last week the snow and ice caught up to me here and now "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" to tide me over for the next 3 years. It will be very different to experience Christmas next year in the sand and heat of the desert. 

I really do like seeing the snow when I am inside, warm and dry. In January I will be "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and heading to snowy Colorado for my last month of training (cultural adaptation and language acquisition). I will spend a lot of time inside studying, learning and sharing with other missionaries, but I will have some free time for visiting friends in the Colorado Springs area. If I haven't contacted you and you are in that area, let me know so we can make plans to get together while I am there.

Wait, I don't want to forget that "Christmas Time is Here" and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".  I really love Christmas and "These are a Few of My Favorite Things" about the Christmas Season: lights, decorations, songs, caroling, friends, family, food, hot chocolate, sparkly things, sleighing, ice skating, warm sweaters and new pajamas. I have so many great "Memories" of past Christmases. I have been sorting the decorations I saved and have been deciding which ones I might take with me to Kenya to next year.

I have decided that my fuzzy, stretched out knitted red stocking needs to stay here as a part of our family stocking group. It was made for me by my aunt. It's perfect now after many years of use.

As I get ready to say "So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Bye" to America for 3 years,  I have been making lists, checking them twice, gathering supplies and shopping online.

I hope you enjoy my version of "The 12 Days of Christmas" (A Missionary Christmas List). We will just start at 12 and sing down. Are you ready?

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas I put this on my list
12 Instruments for Vetting
11 MP3 songs for singing
10 Sunscreens so no burning
9 Books for learning
8 Nets and bug sprays for no biting
7 Skirts for wearing
6 Diplomas and licenses for working
5 More vaccines
4 Calling, SIM and minute cards
3 Swahili, Turkana and driving lessons
2 Chocolate turtles, M&M's and dove bars
and More monthly partners to join me!

Please don't take this list literally, except for the last line. I now have 65% of my monthly budget pledged and I want to thank all my partners who have helped me get to this point. It has been so much fun sharing with you all and I appreciate your prayers for the ministry.

I need to have 100% of my monthly budget pledged before I can set a departure date and get my plane tickets. I would love for everyone one reading this to consider partnership and consider making a monthly investment in the ministry. I would love to share with you about the ministry and what it means to be a partner. I am happy to visit with you in person or by phone, Skype or FaceTime.

My CMF teammates in Kenya and the people of Turkana are excited to know that I am getting closer to reaching the field.

I am including the link to my CMF page where there is more information and pictures from my vision trip taken in January.

You can sign up to give online by clicking here or just let me know the amount you are pledging and I can send you the information.

As 2013 comes to a close and becomes "Auld Lang Syne" (days gone by) please remember the reason for this Christmas Season. I am so thankful for the gift of Jesus and I am thankful to be able to celebrate Jesus' birth freely and without persecution. This many not always be the case and I ask you to pray for those who don't have that freedom.

Merry Christmas

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