The 12 Days of Christmas

Ariela’s Christmas recital in mid-December. It was a bit hard to find her on the stage among all the blonde-haired little girls in red and white but she is the one in the middle, sitting down, facing the camera with her right hand reaching to her Santa cap (see yellow arrow).

Matthew carried over from the States the perfect gift for Daniel from Jonathan, a rocket that he launched in the soccer field behind our house that went over 500 feet in the air!

The 12 Days of Christmas? Huh?

I grew up singing that weird song, “The 12 Days of Christmas”, having no idea what it meant. The 12 days are a reference to the time span between the Christmas that we are used to (December 25) and the Epiphany (the Visit of the Magi) which is January 7, the day on which Eastern Orthodox celebrate Christmas.

This year we were honored that Zoki and his family invited us to come over on January 7 for Christmas lunch. We had a great time and learned about some of their traditions. They spread hay on the floor in remembrance of Jesus’ birth in a manger, they have a special tree (it may have been a branch from an oak; it comesfrom the old tradition of putting the yule log on the fire) called “badnjak” which comes from the term “wake”, or “wait” (as in waiting for the coming of Jesus’ birth), and older kids stand out in front of the house with treats to offer passersby (in this case bread, mandarin oranges and whiskey!).

We felt privileged to be invited to their Christmas dinner. Please continue to pray for Zoki and the whole family, that they would understand the Bible stories we are translating together, that they would understand the teaching in the home Bible studies our missionary colleagues are teaching them, and that they would believe with all their hearts in the Lord Jesus and follow Him as faithful, godly disciples.

Thank you for your prayers for God’s Word and His work among the Roma in our village.


Todd & Pamala

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