July 14, 2013

Christmas, Crafts, and Compatriots

Christmas in July!!  This is a drama that was performed at our church by a local school's theater class, and was based on Max Lucado's book, An Angel's Story.  Yes, it was a Christmas play.  Yes, it's July here, too.  But with July being mid-winter, it did sort of FEEL like Christmas, for us Americans anyway.  ;)  When they sang, "It's Christmas! It's Christmas!" and started dancing around with gifts, I was ready to pull out the decorations and the manger scene.

Thanks to donations from a church here in Encarnaci├│n, we were able to take much-needed supplies with us on our prison visit last week.  The women and teens received some basic supplies like soap and toothpaste, as well as some crafting material like yarn and string.  They'll make hats and bracelets and tableclothes and scarves, and we'll try to sell these items for them in anticipation of Friendship Day, when most folks give small gifts to their pals.

I took advantage of the bags full of goodies to read the parable of the good employees to them.  In Luke 19, Jesus tells the story of a man who gave money to ten employees and came back to see what they'd done with it.  I explained that God had given each of them, also, a certain amount of giftedness, something special that He expected them to put to good use.  We went over some examples and then spoke about the specific giftings each of them had, and how they could be used where they are right now.

The entry gate at the penitentiary. The area to the right is the
teen wing, and to the left on the second story live the women
and a few of their small children.

We had a wonderful visit with new friends from Asuncion.  This missionary family has a rare commodity that we value highly in this house--teenagers!  My girls were in hog heaven with the three gals who came, chatting about all those missionary kid things that you just have to experience in order to understand.  And we certainly enjoyed the encouragement and fun with their parents and their cute little brother, who jumped in the river despite how cold it seemed to us Southerners.  Did I mention the dad is a gourmet chef?  We set him loose in our kitchen and were quite pleased with the results!!  We were thrilled to get to share some of Paraguay's history with them when we accompanied them to the Jesuit Ruins, and excited to hear what their mission life looks like.  The time with them was so uplifting.  God has been faithful to bring into our lives the right people at the right time.
My two are in red.  I borrowed this picture from the Sluka clan.

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