We spent one day at a youth conference held at a nearby community, and Fernando was one of the speakers:
I enjoyed continuing to meet with Rosa (pseudonym), Fernando's cousin's wife. We had been studying the Bible and praying together in La Ceiba, and it is exciting to see her grow in her faith as she learns from God's Word. On Christmas Eve day, I joined Rosa and her sister to make tamales:
Cornmeal dough (masa) with juice from pork meat and other seasonings
Preparing plantain leaves
Filling the leaves with the cornmeal, meat (pork or chicken), vegetables, and rice
Later, we got ready for church, where the service continues until midnight or later.
With Fernando's sister
Fernando sharing a Christmas message during the service
People spend Christmas Day relaxing with their families and eating the food made the day before. Fernando and I took a walk with some friends down the beach to a river. We enjoyed coconuts and swimming in the ocean.
While we were there, a truck had to cross the river on a raft. Here is a picture and a video of the process:
On other days, people enjoyed soccer games:
(No. 15 is a superstar)
I enjoyed practicing Garifuna and am encouraged because I can speak much more than I could a year ago. Wageira is the ideal place to learn Garifuna, as it is the language people prefer to speak and there are a lot of people to talk with.
New Year's Eve is also celebrated at church, where Fernando gave another sermon and we enjoyed special presentations by children and youth:
At midnight, each family there gathered to pray - probably my favorite moment of the holidays, thanking God together with Fernando's family and praying for each other as we start the new year.
Several hours later, there was still a praise party going strong! I needed a little rest, so I took this video:
On New Year's Day, there is a traditional dance called Wanaragua ('mask'). Fernando's cousin dressed up and ready to go:
After such a good trip, we are back home preparing for the coming months. We would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and faithfulness in our work each day, and for trust in the Lord for our plans this year.
We want to say, "Thank you!!!" to those who have sent special gifts in the past few months, which have been an incredible help for the projects we're working on as well as our own needs - thank you!
Also, thank you for visiting our blog, and we look forward to sharing with you again soon. Happy New Year, everyone!