Christmas 2016 Update

Rain dripping on a tin roof, tropical bird calls, the whine of a hungry, rather-largish German Shepherd puppy, and the background Christmas music of Kenny G. These are sounds heard as I sit writing in Cashibococha, our current home just outside of Pucallpa, Peru. The music we first heard in January, 1993. I remember it clearly: packing black barrels stenciled “Kankan, Guinea,” Dan trying to figure out how to crate and ship his Yamaha TW200 motorcycle, and the whirlwind of organizing supplies we would not see for another 6 months. It was very cold outside. We would soon transition to a hot, dusty, and spiritually lost country with a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and a baby on the way. So many miles, experiences, people, and places have been encountered since then.

Christmas time. This year our family is spread out, not only for the holidays, but for life in general. Addresses we claim include Minneapolis, MN, where Benjamin is working as a pilot instructor/mechanic; Senegal, West Africa, where Seth and D’Evan are teaching history and 1st grade at Dakar Academy; Grand Rapids, MI, where Mitchell landed his first civil engineering job following graduation from Calvin College; and Look Out Mountain, Georgia, where Anna is finishing up her final year at Covenant College while anticipating a PA degree down the road. The three Stateside residents are enjoying Christmas together in Indianapolis with Uncle Dave, Aunt Penny and family. Seth and D’Evan are with the Evans side of the family in Dakar. Dan, Lyndi, and I are here in the jungle for a very green Christmas.

Even though we are not together this year we are so thankful for communication venues. At one point, a motorcycle ride to a gold mining company (to request the use of their satellite phone) along some dirt “roads” was necessary to communicate with our family in the States. Another option was to go to the post office that had the only phone in town and a rather unreliable connection. We graduated to owning our own mission satellite phone, which had a $3/minute price tag. Then we experienced the joy of email and facebook when our internet was working. Now we can speak often with our loved ones using Skype and Group Me. I don’t feel old enough to say things like, “My, how times have changed,” but, there it is.

How we celebrate this season! For those who love Jesus and the hope His birth, life, death, and resurrection promise for eternity, we rejoice with you. Let us encourage one another in the faith…as long as it is called today. For those who don’t consider a Savior, we pray that this would be the year you would learn to treasure Him and enjoy His love
for you.

From our house to yours, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Much love,
Laurie, for the Porches in Peru