Christmas is here, and although we are far from family, the weather is 70 degrees, and the celebration of Christmas is somewhat different here, it is finally beginning to feel like Christmas. We greatly miss our family’s Christmas traditions and the beautiful Christmas Eve candlelight service, but we are realizing that there are many advantages to being apart from the hustle and bustle of the western Christmas season. We have been able to really focus on the meaning of Christmas and to begin to teach Cathen this greatest gift – Jesus Christ – and celebrate this gift with our Cameroonian and missionary family. This year our celebration began with a Christmas party on Children’s Ward. Together with the Cameroonian staff, we prepared songs, gifts, and food for the children and families admitted on the ward. Then on Christmas Eve, we joined the other missionary doctors in caroling through the hospital wards. Though the ideas of “peace on earth” and “joy to the world” are all too easily lost amidst suffering and sickness, there remains the glimmer of hope in people’s eyes, and we greatly enjoyed singing and sharing these timeless messages of hope and joy.
As part of this season, we wanted to share with you the love that one of our dear friends has shown the children of Cameroon. You will see in many of the pictures below, beautiful fleece blankets. A wonderful woman, Peggy Payne ("Gigi"), who lives in Charlotte, NC, has lovingly made these blankets for the children here at Mbingo Baptist Hospital. Gigi is not only a wonderful grandmother to her granddaughters, Christina and Kelly - now all grown-up and married - she is a grandmother to the children who have come to our hospital. For the last year she has spent countless hours making blankets for these little ones. With each blanket she is sharing love with a newborn, a sick or malnourished child, or even a mother and father grieving the loss of their child. This Christmas, we want to say thank you to Gigi, for her precious contribution to caring for and loving the children at Mbingo Hospital.
and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Merry Christmas to you all! May God bless you richly this Christmas season and may you be ambassadors for Christ as you share His love with those around you.
Lindsay, JR, and Cathen
Gigi's "grandkids" and their blankets