Thursday, December 25

The shepherds behold
Him promised of old
By angles attended, by prophets foretold.
The wise men adore,
And bring him their store,
The rich are permitted to follow the poor.

To the inn they repair,
To see the young heir:
The inn is a palace; for Jesus is there.
Who now would be great
And not rather wait
On Jesus, their Lord, in his humble estate?

Like him would I be!
My Master I see
In a stable! -- a stable shall satisfy me.
With him I reside;
The manger shall hide
Mine honour:  the manger shall bury my pride.
~Charles Wesley

What a sweet Christmas morning!  Candy canes (what a treat!) provided by friends and family in the States, extra "family" to share, sing, worship and celebrate alongside us, secrets that a colleague had been keeping (with help from Edi and our children),

the gift of a good night's rest after an exhausting boat ride, our traditional waffles alongside the delicious cinnamon rolls provided by our director, Sarah's beautiful handmade gifts, Olivia's gift of baby doll clothes for the stuffed animal that was still in Katherine's backpack.

After our bellies, hearts, and spirits were full, we turned out attentions to finding the missing backpack and getting our friends on their plane.  We wouldn't have chosen for them to leave on Christmas Day (neither would they), but we trust that God's timing is always perfect, even when airlines are squabbling.

Aaron and the three younger kids drove down to the wharf to try and locate somebody on the ship.  On Christmas Day.  The rest of us stayed at the house and made sure that everything fit into the suitcases and didn't go over the allotted weight.  By the way that Aaron raced into the driveway just a little while later, we knew he had good news.  The bag was found - and everything was still inside!  Somebody had discovered Katherine's backpack and turned it into the clerk's office.  Thank you, Lord, for answering our prayers this way.  We will be making cookies as a thank you for the Kosco's crew!

Too soon, we were driving to the airport and checking in.  I love our little airport.  You can check in, give the employees your luggage, and walk right out the door. 
We walked over to a small memorial garden, planted for the many men and women from many countries who gave their time and energy, and sometimes their lives, to defend the Solomon Islands in WWII.

The garden was peaceful and cool in the heat of the day. 
Katherine found a little green friend that made her giggle as it walked on her hand.

One more picture, one more hug, one more "See you next time!"  We had no idea how God would knit our hearts together when we met more than twenty years ago in Stetson University's School of Music.

Our paths have certainly gone different directions, but we're so thankful He has allowed our paths to cross over and over again.


Bartokhound said…
Christmas Day - another full day - where God gave his greatest gift of all (Jesus) and, on this day, returned a much-needed and much-beloved backpack for a little girl who wanted to give her gifts and a big girl whom He knows treasures family photos. A day to celebrate Jesus' birth, celebrate the beauty of Honiara, celebrate a last day with our friends, and give thanks!


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