Thursday – Christmas Eve
Again – another leisurely morning. Today, we went to visit another Aunt and Uncle. This Uncle is in charge of a Bible school here in Kerala. We listened to his frustrations with the school as well as successes. While we were there another cousin came for lunch. Commander Matthew is retired from the Navy here in India. He now coordinates several church plants in Northern India. He showed us a powerpoint presentation that showed just how lost this country is. I would love to give you all the stats that he showed us, but I am sure I will confuse all the numbers. He gave us a copy of the powerpoint so we could take it home and really look it all over. I know this – it is a place very desolate of Christ. But oh how that makes just a little light really shine. As we were flying over Iraq on our way to Bangalore, there were long stretches that I saw no lights on the ground at all. Then I would look down and see what looked to be one lone light amongst a vast area of darkness. I pray that soon, there would be light all over this country through the work of Commander Matthew and Dr. Mano Daniel.
After our meal we took our pictures, prayed for the ministries and headed out. We took a little detour on our way home. We were very close to the seashore so we had the driver of our bus take us there. It was fun to sea the Arabian Sea basked in the sunlight. It isn't exactly the picture of sugar sand beaches that Florida is, but it was fun. I stayed back in the bus. I hadn't used any sunscreen and it would just be a matter of 5 minutes before I was a crispy crab. Getting some Vitamin D and overdosing are 2 very different things! I prefer the just enough method.
After dinner the pangs of homesickness started to kick in. I can't remember ever missing church on Christmas Eve. I am sure I have due to sick kids or something, but nothing that sticks in my head. It is so strange that there is no mention of Christmas. It is truly just another day. Chuck Swindoll's devotional the other day (Dec 22) helped to make me see how Jesus birth was just another one, not really spectacular. And how each day – rebirth is happening all around yet no one stops to take time to see it. My prayer is that this land will truly experience the gift of Christmas – Salvation.