It seems that with the new weather conditions and new germs, our immune system decided to take a vacation just in time for Christmas. We have been passing back and forth a cold for the past month and it has not been fun – to say the least. To add to the overall theme, the sun seems to be on strike, as we have not seen it for several days.
Though our body decided to slow down, the world around us didn’t. As you may expect, Christmas is as much a busy season here as it is for you. If we may dare say – Christmas time here in Germany is much bigger than in the States. To give you a glimpse of what it is like – on the first week of December, you can expect every little town to have a Christmas market, filled with little wooden huts where people sell food, drinks, handmade ornaments, and gifts. It truly is a charming, cozy experience that you forget all about the freezing temperature. On top of the Christmas markets, every town decorates the streets with Christmas lights. Our town, in addition to the street decorations, had several huge signs that lit up saying, “Weihnachten in Syke” which means “Christmas in Syke.” With Christmas markets open every weekend (or every evening in some cities), you can imagine how festive and busy December can be!
Our calendar was also full of different events. Our month started with us going to a nearby Baptist church where Niklas was invited to preach. It was a good experience for both of us since we got to know a different congregation with a very different church culture.
Our church also had a “few” events during this month. We had a special gathering on a Sunday afternoon called “Adventsfeier”, where we were able to witness seven baptisms. As they shared their testimonies of how they came to faith, it was wonderful to see how God is at work in Germany. In the same week, the church had a “Kinderadventstag,” a day where the kids spend the whole afternoon making different crafts and have a small devotional tailored to them. We also had a couple of Christmas parties – one with the youth group, where Niklas was asked to do the devotion and another with our small group. Despite the busyness and the craziness of the week, we are so thankful for the given opportunity to get to know the different generations at the church better.
As for our Christmas holidays – things were much slower and calmer. This year was exceptionally special for us as it was our first Christmas as a family of three. We didn’t have a set agenda for the day and just spent the morning and the afternoon relaxing and enjoying one another’s company until it was time to head to the church for the Christmas service.
On the following day, we headed south to spend Christmas with the rest of the family. As we had hoped and prayed, the trip turned out to be very relaxing and filled with laughter. Jonathan especially loved receiving extra cuddles and kisses from everyone.
We are so grateful to God for the constant blessings that He has poured out over our family throughout our transition. He has given us more than we need and we have already seen so much evidence of His grace. With Him on our side and with Him at work through us, we trust that we will continually see God glorified in Germany.
Hope you all had a wonderful, joy-filled Christmas and a great start to the new year!
Please pray that:
- We continually grow to love and serve the members of the small group we are in.
- Our small group continues to grow in helping each other to walk in holiness and for our small group to be a place of meaningful discipleship and friendship.
- We will have much wisdom as we had two elders from a church visit us. This church is looking for a new pastor (part-time) and has already scheduled for Niklas to come and preach in January and February. At this point we do not know whether it is God’s will for us to go or not, if the position is offered to Niklas. We just want to pray for God’s wisdom and for Him to make it very clear whether this is something for us to consider.
- Ji will get an opportunity to find a language school that offers a course she can join.
- We have much love and patience as we raise Jonathan, who is finding out more and more what he likes and does not like.