Friday, December 16, 2011

it takes a village...

I heard a while back that the city we live in has about 4,000 foreigners. From all over. So we have import stores, western restaurants, toy stores, a dozen Starbucks. We don't suffer a lot here. I actually wouldn't be surprised if there are actually more than 4,000 "lao wai."

We feel blessed by our little village. In our apartment complex, there are two boys the same age as Luke. And a girl and boy pretty close to the same age as Jace. We have families to play with and folks to do dinner with any time.
We get to go to fun Christmas parties like one that is called a BRIC party where we each make a new recipe (to us) and take it for a dinner party. Someone gets to make the appetizer, someone makes the main dish, someone makes dessert, sides, etc...Our friend thought it up--she's pretty creative. And it's fun.

We get to host parties that are a mixture of our local friends and foreign friends like tonight. We'll eat hot pot for supper and then do traditional Christmas stuff with our friends at our house. Cookie decorating, Christmas story telling, singing, etc.

We look at each other and think how thankful we are for the community we have here. How thankful we are for our ex-pat friends. But just how thankful we also are for our local friends. It's a gift.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I'm loving the words to the song "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" this year.

I love that it says: "Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinner reconciled...
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
join the triumph of the skies
...Christ is born in Bethlehem..."

There's a kind of tension that I feel when I'm reading the OT. Sinful people had to wait a LONG time for the Savior to arrive, to be revealed. But it's not just them. It is still a tension for me--that waiting word. Waiting for Him to show us what our niche is here in this city with the people He's asked us to live among. Waiting for those adoption papers to go through and children to be matched to our family. Waiting for Him to speak to our friends. Because apart from Him being all over everything we do, what we do isn't worth much.....

But I think that is the thing I love about celebrating Jesus' birth: the waiting was over. Anna and Simeon were able to see the Savior they'd prayed about for decades. The Father didn't forget them. Us.

The boys helped me decorate the tree the other day.
And presents from America arrived the same day.
So they're having to see those presents every day--to wait to open them.
Waiting has been a theme in our family's life the past several weeks. It's good. It's hard. It's good. It's good to trust in a Father that knows and acts in perfect time to a people that really need Him. And to seek His face in the waiting time--to see again a beautiful God in the face of an innocent babe from 2000 years ago.

PS the third picture is just a picture of one of the lower branches of the tree--the ones that Jace can reach. There are a lot of ornaments on that branch :).