Merry(?) Christmas.

As usual our blog has been neglected. It has not been for lack of thought or lack of words. Its been because what we have to share isn’t particularly joyous. What do you say when the country you love and are called to serve is affected by disease and death so great that its all most people know it for? When others know how to pronounce Sierra Leone correctly because its been on news stations and radio stories and headlines? We are so glad its received attention because people need to know there are those in the world who are in desperate need. Its also frustrating because the knowledge often didn’t spark a desire to help, but instead a state of fear. Im talking about Ebola. The deadly virus has affected over 20,000 people and killed at least 8,000 of them in the countries of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Its happening because there are few doctors available to entire countries of people, and they can’t get the IV fluids and nutrition needed to fight off this sickness. Its happening because of lack of education of the facts in the countries being affected. In the end, they have nothing and no one to help them and they slip away from this sickness, becoming another number.

This Christmas was a difficult one. It was full of all the nice things like family gatherings and food and gifts, but it was hard in other ways. We had to work so diligently to get any bible focused meaning to our kids. They were bombarded by messages of greed and want and more. When we weren’t trying to give them the true message of Christmas, we were talking to and praying for our friends in Africa who had to stay inside their homes and away from loved ones as much as possible because venturing out meant a possibility of coming into contact with the virus. My heart broke, thinking about what it would be like to spend Christmas isolated, with so little and so far away from ones we love.

BUT GUESS WHAT? Thats how Jesus came into the world. It wasn’t glamorous- it was actually pretty sad in worldly terms. He was born in a barn. Joseph and Mary had no doting grandparents to share it with. They were poor and had only an audience of animals when Jesus came into the world. There was no crib, or going home outfits or blankets. Jesus, the most amazing man to walk the earth had the most humble start I can think of.

The baby that was God and came to the earth in the most humble of ways, calls us to be His hands and Feet. He calls us to serve one another and love one another. John 12:26 Jesus says “Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me”. We are called to serve God wherever HE leads. God is everywhere. His people need help, and in all places we can find need.

We are called to Sierra Leone. We know it deep inside ourselves. God has blessed our family and we want to give Him our lives. The effects of ebola will be long lasting. There are orphans who lost their parents and are viewed as “cursed” in their villages, and there are women who lost their husbands and men who lost their wives. There are people without hope of any kind who need to know the love of Christ. We need to go and be love.

We are praying we can leave in April. We are praying for ebola to end and spiritual healing to begin. Please pray for these people with us.

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