december

A school is one of the best places to work in December. The energy and excitement of the season, carried by all the children, permeates the atmosphere. What joy to share in their excitement, to encourage their reflection, and to help them piece together the greatest story ever, centered in the birth of a child.

Truly God uses the weak to confound the strong.

The school’s Christmas production was a highlight of our month, with us all having a role of one kind or another.

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Nakiah unintentionally landed a role in the play as one of three siblings that together run a “Christmas Shoe Tree” lot in La Carolina Park – one of the largest parks in Quito, providing shoes to people who need them. She loved the experience of learning and working with the other actors, as well as being on stage (once she got past the initial jitters).DSC_5106

During the week of the production, families donated shoes to the school, which were then given to local prisons and orphanages.

Jason and I had a brief appearance one stage as a couple in need of shoes.DSC_5120

Tovi sang in the choir between scenes of the play. Their shirts say “Can’t stop these shoes,” which is what they are singing – Can’t stop these shoes from spreading the good news…

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Jason painted some nativity scenes on classroom windows.

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And Nakiah drew and colored the Mary and Joseph for her class’s nativity scene.

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And then, the holiday vacation arrived, giving us time to enjoy one another more, spend some outdoor time in and around Quito, and clean the long-neglected toilets.

Christmas break is a major milestone over the course of a school year – nearly halfway for many schools, and we are not the only ones who breathe a little easier. But we look back at the transition we’ve ridden these past months, recalling that first night in Ecuador vividly, when we all felt sick and confused and wondered what we had agreed to.
Many new friends later, and now with adequate kitchen supplies, bedding, and even a little art on the wall, we feel glad to call this apartment our home, to be committed to this school, to Iglesia Esperanza (Hope Church), to the new people we meet every week. Each day is an adventure because of these very people. What joy we can all take in sowing seeds daily into this great body of humanity. A smile, a word of encouragement, a pair of shoes, and friendship.

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