Christmas 2022

We spent Christmas eve at home with our immediate family this year and then the following day we invited Othy’s parents and grandmother over for dinner. I had fun cooking beef stew, savoury mashed potatoes, and drop biscuits. The first two dishes I cooked primarily in our pressure cooker which was interesting to try. During the holiday we had a lot of lazy evenings and introduced Moses to several Christmas movies including Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. We watched the latter movie in parts and so Moses would say “I want to watch Reindeer”. On boxing day we finally got the kids and ourselves all dressed up to take a family photo. Our digital Christmas card has become a tradition over the last three years which has become a good excuse to get a full family photo which does not happen often! We called over a friend who is a photographer to come help us take them. For the new year we dropped Moses off at the grandparents house and brought on the new year with a group of friends. We brought Sarah’s pack and play and so it was a treat to stay over longer instead of going home early.

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Reflecting on the year it has not been an easy one for the world and for Congo. After finally getting through a global pandemic, major powers have plunged into another war causing living costs worldwide to rise even further. The Eastern part of Congo still experiences ongoing insecurity in the form of massacres and terrorist attacks that don’t even make it into the international news. The M23 rebel group occupies a region north of Goma, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, and not much of an effort has been made to remove them. In Butembo we are blocked in on all sides by insecurity on the Ituri road, the Kasindi road and the Goma road. Despite these global and national challenges, I am thankful that Butembo is relatively calm, our kids are flourishing, we are enjoying being close to Othy’s family, and I still have remote employment. Our projects here are going much slower than we planned but we pray that, Lord willing, we will see them come to fruition in good time. We remain hopeful for a more peaceful 2023.

It is easy to think that no one has seen as much conflict and suffering as the world has today, but the world has been suffering since Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden. Despite our fall into sin through our desire to be our own gods, God had a plan from the very beginning to redeem us. He came to us in the form of a baby, in a position of weakness. He grew up and lived a perfect life and then paid the price of death on our behalf so that we may be reconciled with our holy God. Sometimes this story of God’s grace is beyond my ability to grasp, but I see all around me God’s work in creation, in history, and in people’s lives up to today including my own. We live in a beautifully designed world that has been corrupted by selfishness. We continue to pray for the day that Christ returns and establishes the kingdom of heaven. “Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel.”

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Our family found a tree this year. It was fun to have a little bit of tradition that I grew up with.
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