Friday, January 2, 2009

CHRISTMAS- African Style

We've survived our first Christmas and New Year's in Gabon. Here, Christmas is for the kids and New Year's is for the adults. Both are marked with people in the streets all night (often past daybreak!) with loud music, fireworks, drinking in the bars, and generally just enjoying the cooler temperatures of the night hours. Joey, Megan, and Sam loved this (except the drinking!) and joined friends in the neighborhood for the fun. We took a bunch of photos and are sorting through them to post at

There is not too much Advent emphasis at the churches here. In fact, there is some feeling that the holiday is simply pagan and not at all tied to the birth of Christ. Coming from a rich tradition of annual Advent worship, this saddened us. However, thanks to an email and attached files from AJ, we did our own Advent candle, scripture reading, and some singing- as a family on Christmas eve, and then with a group of ex-pats on Christmas day. My language partner, Romaric, said that, although he didn't understand everything, it was a wonderful time that he'll never forget. I have to say the same. Each of our family read scripture, described each Advent candle, and then lit it. We ended in prayer and song. Very cool. Not quite the same as the traditions of our home church, but very meaningful and Christ-centered. It was so good for our hearts.

Thanks so much for your prayers. God is so good. Our aircraft fund continues to grow, little by little. We are ready for air operations to start in the next month or two, so we are praying for the progress to continue there.

Also, January is the time that you do reflection on the past and planning for the future. We are prayerfully mapping out these plans and submitting end-of-the-year reports and beginning-of-the-year reports. There is excitement as we take out a map of Gabon and realize that there are over 20 people groups that are have between 0% and 2% Christian! However, there is an intentional effort by the Gabonese Alliance Churches to reach into them and, with the airstrips that are nearby, we'll be joining the effort to establish Christ-centered faith communities. Please pray for this effort.


Steve and the crew

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