Over the past five years we have had the pleasure of meeting missionaries from several continents and dozens of countries. What a joy it has been to build relationships with them and learn their culture and customs.
One of the most intriguing aspects of our new relationships has been learning the different traditions surrounding Christmas. The Germans have told us about St. Nicholas day on December 6th when they would put out their largest shoe or boot. The next morning it would be filled with candy. Even twenty year old students still practiced the tradition last year. The Dutch talked about a Christmas tree but no mention of Santa Claus. The same is true in Africa. In some countries the giving of gifts is significantly reduced and the church plays a stronger role during Christmas. Even missionaries from the same country would have different traditions from region to region. It has been eye opening for us.
We would all acknowledge that the central focus of Christmas is the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Commercialization has so infected the holidays that it can easily veil the true meaning of this holiday. Consider starting a new tradition this year that will highlight the birth of Jesus as the focal point in your home and community.
Our experiences of past Christmas’ are so rich, warm and meaningful. We have yet to find someone who didn’t smile when the subject of Christmas came up. May your holiday be filled with tender experiences as you spend time with those you love.
Thanks for the many investments you have made this year to help others see the reality of Jesus. It has been a great joy to walk with you into the hearts of ministry leaders in so many places. We are deeply grateful for your heart and vision.
Pictured is one the corn fields planted for orphans in Swaziland. Numsa Lukele, the leader of the ministry Asondle Sive Bomake (Siswati language for Let’s feed the Nation Mothers), is pictured in one of the corn fields planted to feed over 900 orphans in the Kaphunga area of villages in the mountains. We provided the seed corn together to ensure these children can eat in 2014. It is a blessed Christmas as corn and squash are coming up in this remote area.
Have a blessed Christmas.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.