For Unto You is Born This Day…

We love the special sights, sounds and spirit of Christmas. We enjoy listening to selections from Handel’s Messiah and have a copy of the vocal arrangement to participate in sing-a-long Messiah concerts. A favourite Christmas Eve tradition for us is to read and act out the Biblical account of the Nativity as found in the first and second chapters of Matthew and the second chapter of Luke and read of the signs of his birth witnessed by the people living in the Americas as recorded in the Book of Mormon. All this helps us to remember what Christmas is all about. We hope that you will take some time to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas and to connect with loved ones. Attached are links to some favourite Christmas music and short video clips. Please enjoy with us as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. MERRY CHRISTMAS and may God bless.

David Archuleta, Peter Hollens, The Piano Guys – Angels From the Realms of Glory

Peter Hollens – Mary Did You Know?

The Piano Guys – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

The First Christmas Gift

A Saviour is Born

History of Handel’s Messiah

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Something is Missing

It is hard to believe that it is only a week until Christmas. It does not feel a whole lot like Christmas here.  The typical yuletide decorations are beginning to appear, seasonal music is playing in the grocery stores but something is missing. Could it be that there is no end of year rush to get some special project completed at work? Perhaps it is not trying to find a parking spot at the mall. Oh, it must be the snow and cold (I know we will pay for the beautiful weather we enjoy here our first winter back home)! It has been a long time since either of us have lived where the snow does not usually make an appearance at Christmas. We have a small nativity that is always up at our apartment which connects us with home and why we are here. The office has a few decorations out and Christmas music is playing which adds a sense of Christmas as well.

Trimming the Christmas Tree

Trimming the Christmas Tree

Christmas Color at the Office

Christmas Color at the Office

Nativity

Nativity

The US Embassy in Monrovia hosts a craft fair in the parking lot the first weekend in December. There was quite an assortment of artists, carvers and other artisans that had their creations on sale. It was enjoyable seeing the craftsmanship and variety of goods that were available. A number of drummers and dancers also provided entertainment throughout the afternoon. The three couples went together, but after a bit of time it was the three ladies and I that remained (I volunteered to stay, nothing to do with protecting my wallet, really…). The three were quite pleased with their purchases and I was happy to be left holding the bag(s).

Left Holding the Bag(s)

Left Holding the Bag(s)

Artisan at US Embassy Art and Craft Fair

Artisan at US Embassy Art and Craft Fair

Where The Streets Have No Name…

Have you ever wondered what prompts people to pen certain lyrics? I think there must be events or experiences either recent or in the distant past, that roll around in a musicians head for awhile and eventually becomes the basis for a new song.

On a regular basis, we have new missionaries arrive to start their missions, others leave after having fulfilled their term of service and still others are moved from one area of the mission to another. This coming and going may require the movement of quite a few missionaries, a domino effect as it were.

This week we have had several new missionaries join us and a few that have competed their missions. As a result, it has been full of “windshield time” for us as we have spent many hours in the truck moving missionaries. I have been thinking about the U2 song “Where The Streets Have No Name” a fair amount as I have been going from place to place on streets that have no name. I am grateful I was with someone who has been to each of the apartments and was able to direct me to where we needed to go. Without cellular data on the phone, applications like Google Maps was not overly helpful. So it was a matter of finding fixed points of reference along the way and going from there. Oh and then there is the remembering thing the next time you go to find a place… Certainly keeps things interesting.

I am not sure if Paul Hewson (AKA “Bono”) or Dave Evans (AKA “Edge”) are following our blog or not, but if you are, could you let us know if you ever spent time in Liberia?