By the time you get this Christmas will be a distant memory, it is still very strange for us to see people going to work and all the shops being open, just an ordinary day and yet for us, one of the most important days of the year. We spent Christmas eve having Christmas dinner with friends, two Germans, one American, two Khmer, and two Irish, what an international representation. We ate too much, watched Christmas entertainment all in the setting of a beautiful garden beside the river Tonle Sap.
The day care children had their own party, past and present children came 32 in total and had games, face-painting, dancing, the Christmas story, ate chicken and rice and got presents. Each year we give them a set of new clothes (t-shirt and shorts and a dress for the girls), a pair of shoes, pencil case, colour book and some sweets. They were all so happy. The families also received a 15kg bag of rice. We would like to thank the people who donated the money to allow us to do this blessing. We even had a helper “Heike” who came to see the children and ended up doing some face painting and dancing with the children.
On Christmas day Mark and I had a video call with Craig, Sarah, Adam and our grandchildren and we were able to watch them opening their presents. It is so much easier to bear not being with them, when you can be a part of their Christmas day too, even if it is remotely.
Day care is back to normal, children talking, playing and learning which is fantastic as routine is what they know and like, doing normal things, knowing what is coming next and enjoying being with each other. Our new children are now well settled and have fitted into life in day care very well. Things here are busy for the staff especially looking after 20 children but they are patient, kind and enjoy what they do. Our graduates will start school in the village on January 2nd, and we wish them well as they start, meet new friends and continue with their learning.
Everyone here is now looking forward to the first of three New Year Celebrations, Western New Year, Chinese New Year and Khmer New Year. There will be fireworks at the Riverside where the Tonle Sap River meets the Mekong River at 12pm to welcome in New Year and if Mark and I can stay up we will go and see them, which these days seems unlikely!
Anyway, a shortened newsletter this month, we just want to wish everyone a Happy New Year full of God’s peace and love and may 2023 be a year of knowing Jesus more than you did in previous years. God bless you all and a big big thank you for supporting us in all the ways you do.
Until next time …
Happy and blessed 2023
Liz and Mark