Sweet December

Just when I had thought that HOPAC, and Tanzanians in general, had forgotten Christmas, I was sidelined with a barrage of festivities on top of the usual rush to finish grading, input grades, and write 150 comments on report cards. Christmas cheer hit me like a linebacker with full force and I wasn’t sure whether I should rejoice or recoil. Although I got very little sleep the last week of school due to the barrage of activity, I wouldn’t have traded any of it for the world. I got a chance to sing alto in a staff cantata group for an evening Christmas program for secondary students and their families. 

Secondary Carol Service

HOPAC moms put together a Christmas fair, filled with hand-crafted items from individuals and ministries from all over Dar. Our high school youth group had an elf-themed Christmas party, complete with a spaghetti eating contest and Pin the Star on the Oversized Christmas tree.  I dressed up like my favorite part in the movie:

My “Elf” Costume for youth group Christmas party.

I have a lot of fond memories of December in Dar, but one of the fondest would have to be the night I gathered with a small group to drink spiced cider and sing Christmas carols on the rooftop. Instead of falling snow and the sound of sleigh bells, we sat in the muggy night and tried to sing over the sound of the Muslim call to prayer. Then, spontaneously, my friend Carley suggested that we should take the show on the road.  We drove to houses of HOPAC families and sang to our hearts’ content.  It was fabulous, and the HOPAC families were all very good sports about it, singing along and even offering us goodies to send us on our way.

Then, on December 17th, a very special visitor flew in from the north.  Yes, the long awaited day had finally come: Quincy was here!

Can you spot him crashing the 6th grade Christmas party?

The funny thing about having him here was that I realized that we picked up right where we left off. It was a wonderful feeling, like trying on a pair of shoes that fit just right. That’s how I always feel around Quincy.

There are many more stories to tell about Quincy’s visit: going on a safari to Mikumi with Gil and Amy Medina, and spending a week in Zanzibar, one of the most fascinating, beautiful places on earth, with dear friends from Nairobi, Justin and Aimee Maier.  Those stories will have to wait for another day.  I want to tell them well.

But the summary of those stories is this:

Photo courtesy of Gil Medina

 I am ashamed to say that I am blown away by His goodness and faithfulness, as if they have changed at all from last year to this year.  He writes stories in the most compelling, perplexing way.  His way. I never could’ve imagined this twist in the plot if you’d given me a hundred years to think of it. I love that about Him.

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4 thoughts on “Sweet December

  1. This is one Christmas season you will never forget. It won’t be a just a memory, it will come to life in a real way — in July! Congrats! I’m romantic (what girl isn’t!) and a visual thinker, so this photo is OFF THE CHARTS perfect to me! {{hugs}}

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