Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Holidays can be Difficult

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. Psalm 96:2-3

Holidays can be very difficult, but also very precious when living overseas. One of my favorite Christmas days happened in Delhi a couple of years ago. Christmas is also the birthday of one of the Sikh gurus. All day on our busy market road there were parades, loud music, free food, and more. All this celebration for a guru or religious leader who is no longer alive.

In our apartment, we celebrated the birth of Christ. Six deaf people came to hear the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. For most, it was the very first time they had heard this. They were very engaged and wanted to learn more. We invited them to come back on Christmas Day. Many seeds were planted.

On Christmas morning, they each canceled. One woman's mother had passed away and the others were called into work. So, we planned on a quiet Christmas Day spent at home with just our family, then the doorbell rang. We had two surprise visitors who joined us for lunch. Then two more deaf people arrived, also unexpected. By dinner time there were six Deaf people here, none of whom had come the day before! So, Chris again shared the Christmas Story and went further into the Gospel of John, teaching about Jesus, while I cooked enough Christmas dinner for everyone.

We were rejoicing that the Good News was told to 12 deaf people that Christmas, 10 of whom had never heard it before. It was a beautiful picture of God's love as Deaf Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and Christians all gathered in our living room to learn the Story of that first Christmas and God's greatest gift!

Lord, I pray that God will use the various holidays as a way to share the Good News with others and that the Holy Spirit will speak to the heart of all who hear. I pray that in our planning, I will acknowledge that Your ways are higher than my ways and that I will be willing to be used by You to declare His salvation to others.

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