It is amazing how fast this year has past! We began it in Denver with Lori struggling with health issues. Then we were back to Congo, in February, teaching our courses and everything else. We returned to the U.S. in late August, via Switzerland. Now, we have had better than three months of traveling and speaking and hope to be back to Denver for Christmas!! Many, many miles and many, many different beds in our travels! Ha!! It has been good to reconnect with many of you and hope to see more of you in the New Year. Our home assignment will be a split year – 6 months now and 6 more months next Fall. As of now we plan to return to Congo in February. Through this year, we have experienced so many different cultures, such diverse lifestyles and such varieties!!! The one constant through out the diversity has been “family" or "family relationships”. Christmas is about family. It is important and amazing to reflect and meditate about Christmas and how God used a family. When God wanted to send His Son to earth, He had to find a family in which to place Him. Why did God choose a young girl to be the mother of Christ? Why did God choose a carpenter to raise His son? Why did God entrust the raising and care of His Son to a family? How did Mary feel about becoming the mother of the One who would save His people? What were Joseph’s thoughts concerning his responsibility to teach and protect this Child, Lord of the universe? God put all of this in creating a family!!! What about the world and her children? So many children are without parents because of disease and war. In Africa, the extended family takes on the responsibility of those who have lost parents. Many of our Pastor students have several extra children living with them. The tragedy of Africa is that these families are also becoming victims of the devastation that is continuing!! Lubumbashi, (100 miles southeast of us) the city of supposedly one million is now a hurting City of an extra added two million displaced people, with over 75,000 orphans!! A whole generation is disappearing. Grandparents are taking on the responsibility of the children that are left!!! More and more there are children without any family. The Church’s continuing ministry is to be part of the Family for these children!! Because of Christmas, we have become part of God's Family as His children – Heirs in His Kingdom! Wow! God has also put us in families to mirror what family life should be. He has entrusted our sons and daughters to us to raise as His children. We are responsible to our extended families and living out His Love to them. This Christmas, let us celebrate the families God has given us and the amazing world-wide Family of God’s children. Hallelujah!! We are Christmas family! Praise The Lord!! Praise for Christmas!!