Christmas is perhaps my favorite time of the year both back home in TN and out here, but it feels very different. In terms of atmosphere, Christmas in America is THE holiday, where here it is just another western holiday. People here do not get any time off from work or school because of Christmas, and other than business owners, nobody really decorates for it.
However, Christmas here is one of the best times to share the good news! Local Asian fellowships take this opportunity to host big and small parties with skits and shows to tell their family and friends about the special Gift that was given to us. For us, it is also a great time to share with our friends! We have witnessed people giving their lives to God in this season in the past, and we are eager to see more this year! Last week a short-term team from another Asian country was here, they spoke the local language, and were sharing everyday.
Last Saturday, Roxanne with two sisters hosted a Christmas cookie party at our home, where they shared the good news with them and decorated Christmas cookies! On Christmas Eve this, a team outreach party as well as an Asian disciple party will both be taking place at the same time at two different locations
Next month, Roxanne and I will be ending our sabbatical. We feel ready for this transition; at the same time, we are still talking to God about some details. We will keep you posted as we come to know more One thing we do think we have heard from God is to continue to run our business in helping locals to go study in America. We believe having this business is strategic. Not only does it provide a social identity for us, but greater then that it has potential to support both international and local brothers and sisters. Among the brothers and sisters who have full time callings, some could work in doing sales and make commission so that if they sell one a month or even every other month, they would have enough to live on. Others could work for our office to have flexible schedules and work less hours then a normal job, so they can spend the rest of their time doing the work that God has called them to.
Our team here is doing well. Since my last blog, 12 more people have come to know God!!! That is double the number in the whole first part of this semester! We are seeing an increase of people adding to our discipleship groups. Please continue to pray that these brothers and sister would stay connected to the church and continue in following God.
Thank you for praying for us and we hope you have a merry Christmas!