February 2009 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Hello again from Freetown!! We hope that this finds you all well. We sure do miss you guys! Thank you for your continued e-mails, prayers and support. They mean so much to us… Things have calmed down here after the busy holiday season. Thanks for your prayers for our kiddos during the Christmas season. The Kroo Bay Christmas party was a smashing success! Over 300 little ones from the slum of Kroo Bay, celebrated the birth of Christ with us. We staff and a few of our Lighthouse youth put on a skit of the Nativity scene for the kids. A sleeping Keyara even got to play the part of Baby Jesus! The highlight of the day, however, was watching the kids' eyes shine as they got their very own (brand new!!) Christmas toy. The sounds of laughter and excitement resounded throughout the slum. We sang, danced, and feasted. In moments like these, I think of that old song, “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be, when we all see Jesus….” It is easy to flash forward to that Great Wedding Feast for the nations. What joy it will be to finally dance freely, filled with joy, alongside these little ones at that great wedding reception dance.

On Christmas Eve, we had all of Lighthouse and staff over to our house for our Lighthouse Christmas party. George facilitated a great talk on what Christmas means to us and we sang lots of wonderful carols. The afternoon culminated with a meal, dancing and more gifts. Chris, Keyara and I spent Christmas Day with some Mercy Ships friends at the beach. I have never in my life spent Christmas Day at the ocean. It was difficult being so far away from family during the holidays, but we are very thankful for such great friends. Keyara also celebrated with her first ever swim in the ocean (well… technically the river feeding into the ocean).

Keyara continues to bring such joy to our lives, and brings joy and laughter into our community. This past week, during a break from a planning meeting, most of our staff gathered around and watched Keyara as she was trying to scoot her way across a bed. She is so animated!! We are very thankful for her continued good health and we pray that she remains healthy! We is now up to 14 pounds and has begun to roll and trying to creep. The problem being that she seems to get high-centered on her big belly 🙂 Her new favorite things include daddy doing the itsy-bitsy spider with her, squealing with joy, and spending time with all of her Sierra Leonean aunties and uncles. I CAN NOT WAIT for you guys to get to meet her!! Please continue to pray for our upcoming court proceeding and for everything to run smoothly with the adoption. We are hoping for a March court date. We trust that God has everything under control and her little life in His hands.

We, as a community, have a busy Spring ahead of us. A team of four Romanians, including our regional coordinator David Chronic, are visiting for two weeks. We are looking forward to getting to know them better. Then… on February 4th, Chris' parents are coming for a 12-day visit!!! We are so excited for them to meet Keyara and all of our friends here. Please pray for their safety and health as they are here, and that they would have a wonderful visit. Finally, will will welcome to our community, the Sassenberg family from Germany. They will be here for a two-month internship. We are looking forward to getting to know Jan, Karoline and their two kiddos, and to learn and grow with them.

As staff, we spent the first week of January reflecting back on accomplishments in 2008 and dreaming about what is possible in 2009. One of our deepest desires is to go deeper in our relationships within our community. Chris and David Chronic will be facilitating discussions on community building among different cultures. We as a community, then, hope to travel together in April for a regional retreat in Romania. We are looking forward to seeing a more developed WMF community and learning as much as we can from them. This is an important step as we dream about what WMF Sierra Leone could look like. We are trusting God to provide $8000 for the travel costs for our four Sierra Leonean co-workers so our entire staff can share this team-building time.

That is about all from here. Thank you again for your continued support, encouragement and prayers.

In Him,

Chris, Erin and Keyara

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