Part of our family celebrates Christmas in Colombia
For to us a child is born , to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

We just finished putting together Mama and Papa Gomez's Christmas gift, it is a photo collage with each member of the family.  I think they'll enjoy it because they LOVE having their family close, as most of us are this year (5 of Ricardo's 6 siblings and their offspring are together).  In fact, this is the first year our little family has ever spent Christmas in Colombia.  We're learning new tropical, Christmas traditions and enjoying the fellowship! 
 In fact, everything has been about family lately!  It started with our seminary family as we celebrated the Graduation Dinner and Graduation ceremony during Thanksgiving weekend.  It was a grand celebration!  One of the graduates was little Ester's father.  Many of you prayed her through many surgeries and uncertain moments since she was born without an esophagus.  It was wonderful to see her healthy and know that her family is following God's call on their lives as they plant a church in Medellin!
Little Ester's family
Colombian pastoral couples
Pastor Daniel ordained
We also had much to celebrate with our Free Methodist family.  First we hosted a Pastoral Retreat which included the making of a video about what it means to be a Free Methodist in order to help strengthen our identity as a church family.   

That was followed by the Colombian Annual Conference, when over 100 people from 3 cities got together to worship, learn, and have fun together... It was just like one, big, happy, family reunion.  We even celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of two of the participants and ordained Pastor Daniel.
After that, Beth's folks made their first visit to Colombia.  We enjoyed showing them around our home and work in Medellín; celebrating Juliana's 13th birthday while we were at it.  Then we brought them to Bucaramanga to meet Ricardo's family.  We had a blast finally merging the 2 families in person after 14.5 years of marriage!   
Our kids with all grandparents
Now, for the past eight days, we've enjoyed celebrating Christmas Novenas with Ricardo's family - actually, Beth's Dad and Kaye were still here for the first 3 days of Novenas.  Each night Ricardo, who never steps out of his pastoral role, shares a devotion related to Christmas, we all sing carols and eat Christmas goodies and then Beth teaches a Christmas craft (each one a part of the nativity).
All of this family activity seems particularly fitting at this time of the year because Christmas is about family...our great big extended family!  Jesus was sent to all of us and, as the Apostle Paul says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."  (Ephesians 1:3-6)

We are so thankful to be a part of the family of God with you!   We wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Love from the Gomez Family (Ricardo, Beth, Juliana & Jonathan)
PS.  If you haven't yet submitted your personal or church pledge toward our support for 2017, please do so by either using the link on our webpage or sending us an email with that information.  (If you have an recurring pledge - i.e. a pledge with no end-date - then you don't need to do this.)  Thank you!