12 Days of Christmas

We have been counting down the days to Christmas by posting on our social media but we thought we’d upload them here too for those who don’t have Facebook or Instagram. Check back every day for an update on this post!

Image may contain: Rebekah Gaylard, smiling, standing

Day 1 – Jumping for joy!

JOY

Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. It is a time to celebrate our saviour Jesus being born and remember how much he has done for us, as well as the joy he gives despite our circumstances.

Image may contain: Andrew Benton, smiling, tree, child, shoes, sky and outdoor

Day 2 – Taking our faith to new heights!

TRUST

Everyday we are challenged by life in Mozambique, but this is teaching us to lean on God and trust in Him when things don’t make sense. Being away from home for Christmas is one of these challenges that we are facing together as a team. Some days it can feel like we’re clinging on to God’s promises of comfort and refuge as tightly as Andrew is to the tree. However, as much as being with family is important, being here is showing us that Christmas is more about reconciliation for everyone and giving, whether it’s through gifts, time or prayer, to everyone.

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Day 3 – Even Santa needs a break!

REST

Something we’re all learning here is the value of time alone and time with God. Finding a quiet, comfortable place to rest, reflect and read God’s word is very helpful in growing as a person and in faith. This Christmas we encourage you to find time to rest in the presence of God amidst all the chaos.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Andrew Benton and Rebekah Gaylard, people smiling, people standing, hat and outdoor

Day 4 – What are you hoping for this Christmas?

HOPE

One of our projects is running a holiday club for kids at a nearby church. As part of this, the lovely woman who runs the church asked if we’d re-paint it green because green symbolises hope for every child she welcomes through her doors.

We also have hope for Mozambique to prosper and develop in years to come.
Not quite as important, but we are hoping for the parcels our families have sent us to arrive before Christmas!

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, beach, sky, outdoor and water

Day 5 – No snowmen for us this year!

PEACE

We find the beach one of the most peaceful places to go in Beira. It gives us a chance to escape the blaring noise of horns and street sellers.

One of the most amazing things about God is he can give us peace in our hearts and minds and all we have to do is ask for it.

Day 6 – How did watermelon not make it into the Fruits of the Spirit?

FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT

Our daily reading yesterday explored the Fruits of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, patience, gentleness, self-control and faithfulness. Our aim as followers of Christ is to resemble these attributes every day, which I don’t know about you, but it seems like an impossible task. Luckily, it’s not completely up to us to produce these ‘fruits’ but rather with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in each of us.

Day 7 – Português é muito difícil!

COMMUNICATION

Meet Dagui our Portuguese teacher! He’s been helping us to learn as much Portuguese as possible so that we can communicate with people here. We definitely took language for granted before and now we see how incredibly valuable it is.

Thankfully, one of God’s ways of communicating with us (the Bible) has been translated into 670 languages so that language is not a restriction to learning.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Alex Vere, people smiling, hat, beard and close-up

Day 8 – Crazy Chapas!

PROTECTION

Our main way of travelling around in Beira is on chapas. It’s uncommon for non-Mozambicans to ride on a chapa so we provide great entertainment for the locals when we’re squished and half hanging out the door. Many prayers for protection have been said on chapas because you could so easily fall through the floor, roll out the back or the whole chapa could just collapse at any moment.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Andrew Benton and Rebekah Gaylard, people smiling, people standing, hat, beard, outdoor and close-up

Day 9 – Sneaky snaps at immigration!

PATIENCE

Getting our visas to come to Mozambique and renewing them while we are here has required quite a lot of patience at times. Patience while waiting for confirmation, patience when things don’t happen as quickly as we thought and patience when we are filling out a form for what feels like the 100th time.

But it’s all been worth it because we’re legally allowed to be here until February!

Image may contain: 7 people, including Alex Vere, Rebekah Gaylard and Andrew Benton, people smiling

Day 10 – Christmas celebrations!

CELEBRATION

Yesterday we celebrated our last missionary kids club for the year with a Christmas themed party. We had great fun playing limbo and searching for Santa hats.

Each Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus who became human just like us to show that he can relate to all our feelings and struggles.

Day 11 – A completely different Christmas Eve!

CULTURE

A bit late today but we’re still on time just!! Today has been a Christmas Eve to remember for sure. We were meant to be kayaking this morning but was cancelled at the last minute so we’ve been swimming and now celebrating Brazilian style!

We’re learning that God stays the same despite the culture though it’s important to be flexible and experience other ways of celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Day 12 – We’ll never forget doing a water fight around Christmas!

LOVE

We are so thankful to the Vilelas for their kind hospitality and for welcoming us into their family. We love spending time with them and having a water fight is just one example of how much fun they are to live with.

Christmas has passed for another year but the commandment Jesus gave us to ‘Love one another’ never ends. So each day let’s try our best to show love to the people in our lives.

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