No, they don't - we do, this year! Because a number of staff will be away on Christmas day this year, we decided to celebrate a week early so today was the big day. And I am appropriately tired for someone who arrived two nights ago, slept poorly with jet lag and arranged Christmas for 34 boys and ten ladies! Whew! I am so glad for the help I had in Rebecca and Meghann, without whom it would have been an underdecorated dorm and I would still be filling gift bags and crossing our names on new clothes!
The day begins with peanut butter for the breakfast bread, always a welcome treat.
We gathered them all up at 9am to give them their new clothes and can I give you an example of how easy they are to please? They cheered when I mentioned the new underwear!!! They are so easy to love and bless! They all went into their respective rooms where they got matching outfits. Followed up with our annual room photos which you can delight in here.
After lots of photos, we eagerly awaited Pai Natal (Father Christmas), complete with a song to welcome him into the dorm. This year, Pai Natal was our center Pastor Nico, along with our director, Papa Steve. We're a packed house with lots of visitors coming to enjoy the fun too.
NORMALLY, I would give out the dorm presents first - this year a seesaw for the garden, a plastic bike, soccer balls for each room and skateboards for each room. I FORGOT!!!!! I guess I was a little overwhelmed after all. Here they are on my bed, ready to hand out - sad! So we progressed directly to the boys' gifts.
Oh, the joy and delight and exclamations when they receive their gifts and dig to their depths to see what treasure lie therein! They knew we were assembling them in my house the day before and were SO excited!
Here, Feliciano wastes no time trying out his new coloring book, one of his favorite things ever!
Shondino looks pretty happy with his present too!
Pai agrees! After enjoying their presents for awhile, the boys eagerly await the center bell which calls them to the church for the last special event of the day - LUNCH! A big plate of rice and salad and fries and beef and CHICKEN!!! And a SODA POP! Oh, they're so thrilled!
Here's a shot of the whole church set up for the festivities. We had dramas and singing and dancing while the tables were being prepared. I just found out we served about 500 people and had enough for 7 plates leftover! That's amazing! I'm so glad we didn't run out, God always provides when we give generously!
Speaking of, thanks so much to all of you who give generously to me and my boys, making times like this possible! God will indeed always provide as we submit ourselves to Him and his plans for us!
I'm so thankful I can be here with my boys, blessing them, caring for them, enjoying a hug and an impromptu game of catch with a new ball. What a delight to be able to pour out love and blessing on them when they can give nothing in return. Except of course their love!
I am the blessed one! Merry Christmas!