Merry Christmas Friends! This has always been my favourite time of the year-and what a beautiful time it is! This year I determined to make the most of this "last" snowy Christmas holiday with my family here in Canada. Realizing that next year my surroundings would be very different from the falling snow, decorations, lights, family, Red Starbucks Christmas cups, evergreen Christmas trees, hay rides, skating, and sledding parties!

At first thinking about this "last" Christmas brought a sad tinge in my heart, but as I started to listen to carols and read through the book of Acts I suddenly realized that Christmas is all about missions! In fact, Christmas could be viewed not only as the celebration of Christ's birth, but the birth of missions!

It was in the coming of Jesus to earth, that His chosen group of people grew to include all of us. Hope, forgiveness, and joy was now extended to ALL nations and ALL people! Suddenly Christmas carols came alive and a hearty version of Hark the Herald Angels Sing can very effectively brings tears to my eyes :-)

"Hark the herald angels sign glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled. Joyful, all ye nations rise join the triumph of the skies with angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem. … pleased as man with man to dwell Jesus our Emmanuel… Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace, Hail the Son of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings, Mild He lays His glory by born that man no more may die… born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth. Hark! the Herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn King!"  

In Acts 10 after God shows Peter that the gospel is now for the gentiles and not just the Jewish people, Peter says: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him… and he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the One appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. To Him all of the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name." 

Christ came to earth and brought hope to all peoples of all nations; and as we celebrate this season I am reminded anew of the wonderful calling God has given each of us-to spread the message of Him and His joy to those He brings along our path. May we faithfully proclaim: "Joy to the world, the Lord is come!" I pray that each of you will be refreshed this holiday season and will start this year with a renewed wonder in the grace and love of God. 

In just a couple weeks I'll be boarding the plane with my one-way ticket to Uganda These weeks here in Canada are flying by and before I know it I'll be in the jungle! I'm excited to see what the Lord has for these coming years, He's done so many things in just this last year.

Thank you for your partnership, encouragement, and prayers-I can't do it without YOU!

Wishing you much Joy and a Very Merry Christmas!

Love,

Laura

P.S. For those of you who have been asking about my support… God has been continuing to faithfully bring in the funds and materials we need. I've been SO encouraged by so many of YOU and your kind and very generous gifts. Thank you!!!! The Lord's given me the opportunity to share at a number of churches on Sunday mornings over these remaining weeks until I leave; pray that He would use them in His way to bring in the remaining needed monthly supporters. I'm confident that God will continue to provide all of our needs in HIs time as He so faithfully does!