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  • Natalie Raynor


Updated: Apr 1, 2022

December snuck up on us this year. We had never taken our furlough so close to the Christmas season; when we returned from our time in the states, it seemed as though we just time-jumped into December. The first thing we had was a dinner with our ministry team. They are the ones that scheduled for it to happen as they wanted to catch up. We heard good reports of the time we were away and talked and planned about what our December for the church would look like.

We had our annual traditional Christmas Ladies Cookie Night. All the ladies look forward to this night where they can enjoy a night off and have a good time of fellowship with other ladies in church in a fun way. We started the night with a fun interactive game that brought lots of laughter. After the game, we paired up in groups of 2 or 3 and shared one thing that we are looking forward to this Christmas and one thing that might be difficult this time of year. Then we took the time to pray for one another. And of course, there was our time of decorating Christmas cookies. We all decorated cookies and entered in our best one for the contest. After voting, someone who decorated our newest shape – Baby Yoda – won the contest. Another great night of memories was made.

This year the Christmas fair came back. Typically there are fairs here about 4 to 5 times a year, but since Covid, we haven’t had any. But this Christmas season, not only did the fair come back, but also the circus. The rides at the fair are for a fee, but the circus this year is free. Then there was the city contest for the fattest turkey – this turkey being weighed in the photo was 44 pounds! It’s refreshing to see a little bit of normal come back. We also had some carolers come to our door (kids from our church). And then there are those Christmas drive-by parades that have people throw candy out of their vehicles to the kids watching on the side of the streets.

We had our Christmas service on the Wednesday night before Christmas. We shut the café down, as we all gathered together in the sanctuary for a Christmas celebration. The kids from Sunday school performed a Christmas song that they had been practicing all month followed by the worship team leading a time with Christmas songs. Len finished the family service up with a message for us to remember that our humble baby Jesus was also a King and challenged us with what we will give to Him this year to make Him proud. Following the service one of the families brought some food to share with everyone.

We, as a family, took the week off from school, were able to buy one of the very last real Christmas trees available in Merida (they go so fast!), and shared some good times in our home with each other watching this traditional Christmas movies. New Years Eve was a blast with some good friends! We are very grateful for all of you who keep us in your prayers, for those of you who support us and the ministry here – we love life and the people here and are glad that you are with us!

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