"Behold I Bring you tidings of great joy which shall be for all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, Christ the Lord."

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and send a quick update! Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support, as I get ready to return to Uganda long-term. I'm excited for what God has ahead! The last few months have been busy with lots of travel and time spent with old friends, as well as new ones!
 
Some of you have written me asking-"Have you left yet?No, not yet! I had hoped to leave in early December, and although I'm close to completing my fundraising, I'm not at 100% yet. I'm trusting that God will bring in the remaining amount so that I can leave first thing in the New Year!
 
Many of you have generously given to help me meet my monthly fundraising goal-THANK YOU, Thank you, thank you! When I see how much the Lord has already provided, I'm amazed. There is a lot to be encouraged about!  A number of you give in a sacrificial and faith-filled way that is such an encouragement. You are standing alongside me, taking your own leap of faith as I take my leap of faith to return to Uganda!
 
If some of you have still been thinking & praying about partnering with me in my work in Uganda, now's the time! :) My bags are packed (That in itself is quite a feat, putting everything you'll need into a few suitcases!) We're just waiting and watching to see what God does in the next week. I have almost 90% of my monthly financial partners. If you'd like to donate you can do it online here. Or, simply email me and let me know how the Lord is leading you.
 
Recently, with all the events going on in our world I have been reminded what good news we have. Our Redeemer came to earth bringing everlasting light and hope right into the middle of great darkness, not unlike the darkness of our current world. The weary hopeless shepherds suddenly saw the bright light and heard the good news of Jesus’ arrival—and were overjoyed when they heard the truth, the everlasting “tidings of great joy.”
 
This reminds me of a day in my old village...
A young muslim mother had begun coming to one of my weekly ladies Bible studies. That particular day we had crammed into a little mud house with an uneven floor because rain had begun to pour down, forcing us to leave our normal place of study outside. I remember seeing some major fidgeting going on to the left of the room, but it was dark so I couldn’t see exactly who it was or what was going on. Then, a little while later it turned out this lady “H” finally couldn't contain her joy (which turned out to be the cause of the fidgeting!) She burst out doing her own little dance and said, “I have never understood the gospel before, but now I do!” She declared her faith in Jesus and was filled with joy. I will always remember her with her big white smile giving testimony to her peace and joy in Jesus; a peace and joy not determined by her earthly situation.
 
What makes the good news of the gospel so good? 
What was it that made this young muslim momma so full of joy? It is the message of a burden being taken away (rather than what her religion and so many religions do with placing heavy burdens upon). It is the message of someone—the all-powerful God who has come to be with us, Emmanuel. It is the message of a Father who has said “I want you in my family”, and not only am I taking away the penalty and burden of your sin, I am giving you all the rights of being my very own and dearly loved Child. Friends, there is no better news for the broken-whether they are in North America or another corner of the world.
 
I’m not sure what your situation this Christmas is like, but in this season of lights and celebration I pray that you will take time to remember why we celebrate. I hope that you take a moment to rest along the “weary road and hear the angels sing!”
 
Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas filled with joy as you celebrate & share the good tidings of great joy.
 
With love,
Laura