Stories from MB Mission workers abroad
“Expect to have hope rekindled, expect to have your prayers answered.” During my first Advent and Christmas in Peru, I was inspired by this challenge to enter the season with expectant hope, just as people thousands of years ago waited for their Saviour. Even so, I was amazed at how God answered prayer in his perfect time.
The leadership team organized a special Christmas program for children with whom we minister, including a drama of the nativity story, songs, and hot chocolate and fruit cake. We wanted to give the children gifts too, but the budget had run dry. Just a few days before the event, one of my supporting churches emailed an offer to contribute to a Christmas program.
We were blown away by God’s faithfulness – God showed up after we’d exhausted all our resources. —Heidi Schmidt, Peru
Our Christmas experiences in Berlin have given us the opportunity to widen our family circle. During the past two Advent seasons in Germany, we’ve opened up our apartment to those who don’t have immediate family to celebrate Christmas with. Even though we’re newcomers in this city, there are many others who are looking for a place to belong, and we can offer that. The good news of Jesus coming into our world is for all people!—Ben & Melissa Froese, Germany
I’ve enjoyed the blessing of sharing the story of Jesus’ birth with my English students in Japan where most people don’t know the true meaning of Christmas. Some put up lights and Christmas trees but only know about Santa Claus. One of the churches where I teach presented me with a huge card they’d gotten all the students to sign. I was touched that one of my “sometimes difficult” students insisted on writing “Happy Birthday, Jesus” because I had told him Christmas was the birth day of Christ. —Wendy Eros, Japan
Last year, we were overjoyed at the more than 60 participants – group home parents and students, staff of the trade school, and their families – from the New Hope trade centre in Zaporozhye, and from Nikolai Pole, Ukraine, who crowded into a small room for a joint Christmas celebration Dec. 24. Under the guidance of mentors, the young people were involved in every aspect of the event from performance to preparing and serving food.
The students not only celebrated Christmas and New Year but “victory over themselves,” said director Max Oliferovski. “They celebrate the change in their character and habits. This brings great joy to me.” —John & Ev Wiens, Ukraine