Good evening! Hope you have had a great weekend and that God is blessing you as we approach Christmas. I hope that you all will remember why we are celebrating Christ-mas and take time to reflect on what God did in sending His son, Jesus Christ, to earth. Some people have been telling me that I have to remember that Jesus wasn't really born on Christmas day. Well, as I sit here and contemplate that, I really wonder...does it matter when His actual birthday was? I personally think it's much more important to understand why He was born to Mary, a virgin, so many years ago. See, God sent Jesus to be born because He wanted to provide us a way to Heaven, even though we have all sinned. Back in Old Testament times, people had to offer up sacrifices to God and, if I remember correctly, they had to often leave the town, depending on the sin, and spend periods of time as a cleansing time. I almost want to say it's so much easier with Jesus, because our sins were wiped clean when He died on the cross so long ago...But, on another note, it may be easier for us, but think about what God and Jesus had to go through to make it so easy for us. Can we even imagine having a child, only to ask him to die for the world? So anyway, that's what I've been thinking about this week.
I shared with you in my last post that we've been hearing about Giving Away Christmas at church. I challenged you to have a giving attitude this Christmas season. Well, our church is doing a thing where they are collecting cookies and then going to have people deliver them to people who are working on Christmas Eve. This is a way to share Christmas with others that aren't able to be with their families on Christmas Eve. So, this week, I'd like to challenge you. If you are making cookies or candies this year for family get-togethers or something else, why not make a little extra and take it to those working on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This could be the local gas station, hospital, nursing home, fire department, police department, or anywhere else that someone is working. Wish them a Merry Christmas and thank them for working/serving for us even at this time of year.
So, what about Mali. After all, Mali is constantly on my mind in one way or another. I'm getting word that the hospital is in need of some much needed lab equipment and...still...more Malian Christian nurses. That is the main prayer on my mind still. See, they could start using the pediatric ward to its full capacity, but don't have enough staff to do so. I'm also praying for the next team(s) our church is sending to Mali. The note in the bulletin at church said they are having meetings next Sunday and the Sunday after next about the next trip. I'm praying that God's perfect team will be organized to go next October/November. I don't forsee it being possible for me to return in 2009, but I know God has the perfect team members to work/minister in Mali. I also pray that He will provide everything that the team needs in order to make it to Mali.