The boys loved their gift bags as well. Another example of God looking after us - I had bought out a Big Lots of their watches but didn't have quite enough for everyone, we were five short. We were going to give them anyway and just a few wouldn't receive one, something I'm loathe to do with a coveted item like a watch. We had packed the bags on the morning of the 24th. Later in the afternoon, Vella arrived with six more watches exactly the same!!! God already knew and arranged for a visitor to donate the same watches!
These aren't earth-shaking matters but I love examples like that of how God arranges to bless us, even in the little things. Exactly what a loving parent would do!
We gave a couple really nice dorm gifts as well - a VCR to replace ours that's been broken for about six months, and a bicycle! They were delighted. (People often ask about the bike - yes, there's one for 43 boys to share. One room per afternoon can use it in the back garden. They take turns riding it twice up the cement path, around a circle and back. It's small but it's what they love best!)
Afterward, we celebrated in the church with a huge meal of chicken, chips, rice, salad and even sweets!
Earlier in the week, Iris Ministries hosted similar celebrations at the Boccaria (garbage dump), the children's church at the Boccaria and on two locations on the street in the city where we have Street Ministry every week. I'm amazed anew when I think of God's generosity and provision for our ministry and the people we're able to serve.
Personally, I had a great day. Although I was too tired to watch White Christmas as I had purposed to do and fell into bed instead, after a fun evening with the missionaries celebrating together. And one of the parts I'm personally most grateful for - it's not hot! It's 90 degrees now at 6:00 pm but it doesn't feel like it and I didn't even have to change my clothes in the middle of the day like I usually do. Every day it's not boiling, I remember to thank God for the delay in the really hot weather starting.
I've just said it but I'll say it again - God is such an amazing provider! I love his heart to give and pour out love on his children. Especially in the gift of his son, Jesus Christ. I hope whoever is reading this, you feel as blessed as well!