Over the past few weeks, as we have been getting ready for Christmas, several times I have thought and my kids have said, “It doesn’t feel like Christmas.” And it got me thinking- what is it that makes it FEEL like Christmas? I asked my kids this and we all talked about it and this is what we came up with. Family, Christmas events, & at least semi-cold weather. Living in the Philippines, Christmas time is pretty much like the rest of the year weather wise. It’s hot and we sweat while we decorate and open gifts. No cozy fires and icy windows here. And while this may sounds nice to you cold haters, imagine not having seasons at all. No fall, no spring. It’s quite different and takes some getting used to. Living across the world from our families means most of our Christmases are spent without them. That also means very few Christmas events. So it ends up with it not FEELING like Christmas.
When I woke up yesterday morning, I felt the Lord’s presence and conviction coming upon my heart. He was speaking to me and by the end of the day, it almost seemed as if He was shouting.
The day before yesterday, on my oldest’s 13th birthday, an emergency flight was called for a lady who was pregnant with her first baby. She had been in labor on and off for a week and needed to get to a hospital. She is from one of the villages we recently visited so I knew exactly who she was. With the helicopter, we were able to get her out and to the hospital where she delivered a baby boy later that night via C-section. They are both doing fine and we were able to help out with getting her some things she needed for the baby. We may be far away from family and it is hard around the holidays, but the sweet baby boy who was born 2 days ago reminded me of why we are here. Another baby that was born over 2,000 years ago and who gave His life for us is why we are here. So that others can know the saving power of Jesus. He is worth it.
Yesterday after church, as I was looking at pictures from family gatherings and reading texts from friends and family, some friends stopped by unexpectedly with the sweetest gifts and greetings. The Lord has given us friends here who are as close as family. I never would have expected that He would bless us with so, so many dear friends from all over the world.
Most of you know about the ongoing search for land for the helicopter hangar that has lasted for the last two years with many disappointments and months of waiting only to have to start over again. About a week ago, while waiting to hear about how negotiations were going on a particular piece of land, we received an unexpected phone call that the contract had been signed and the land was ours! What?!? We are still in shock. We’re not even sure how it feels to not be waiting or searching. We are overwhelmed with peace & contentment at what God has done, His timing, and the way that He chose to do this. His provision has been so much more than we could ask or think. We could go on for hours telling you the many ways that God has provided and the people He has used.
So as you gather with your families and friends to celebrate, REJOICE with us in who God is and what He has done. We are so blessed and have such peace knowing we are exactly where God wants us to be. This is our home and He is with us. Immanuel- I AM with you.