Greetings as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Emmanuel. We serve a mighty God and Shannon and I are blessed beyond words to serve Him.
It has been an amazing year! When we look back over all that has happen it's hard to imagine it all fitting into 365 days.
Here in the Dominican Republic we have been
blessed with a great group of people that love God and love what they do. This makes such a difference when you see the development of the boys and the joy (and energy) they have. It will be fun seeing the new boys this year celebrating Christmas in a family setting for the first time in a long time - if ever.
We completed the school building with the help of several teams and donors. The teachers and students are very thankful and happy for this as we have been sort of a mobile school for so many years moving from one room to the next, from one building to the next for years.
Venezuela is also receiving a new generation of little guys that makes the whole ranch alive with activity. The country needs much prayer, but despite the added difficulties, the current political situation, and lack of basic staples, our brothers and sisters there are doing an amazing job.
We are also very excited about our new home in South Sudan. Also, an amazing body of believers there, giving their all to help the 12 boys in our small home in Juba. Shannon was able to go with me last time and was a real inspiration to the staff and boys. This country suffers from violence, lack of water, food and security, but all of the Sudanese staff are inspiring to see, despite these circumstances.
Africa is where Shannon and I met and there is a part of us there. We love the music, food and people. The boys will break out in song randomly as they work and play. We arrived at the home the first time since having boys and one of our staff's young daughters was terrified seeing white people for the first time. I mean the look on her face... poor thing. She finally got used to us toward the end of our time.
On my last trip I decided to do a little project with the boys. We built school desks for the on-site school we have there. I forgot that they don't have any tools and then remembered there is no electricity, even if we did have tools. So, the little project turned into a bigger one as we hand sawed all the wood, hand drilled all the holes and hand screwed every screw with a screwdriver. Everyone played a part in the work. It was great fun and the boys were more than happy to get involved. It reminded me to be thankful for the little things we take for granted.
So much more to share, but all the activity pales in comparison with seeing souls that are being reached with the love of Jesus. The smiles and restored lives are hard to communicate in a short letter like this, but we truly never forget the body of Christ all over the world that plays a part in making this possible. God is so good! Thank you all for your support and continued prayers.