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Christmas Greetings from Gulu

p1050232Christmas greetings from Gulu.

The tree is up, the Christmas music is on, the nativity scenes are out and we are very nearly starting to feel a tiny bit Christmassy. The Post Office has also done a sterling effort sorting a wonderful array of parcels (thank you so much to those generous and organised present sending super humans.)

Being in Gulu is a bit strange for several reasons, beyond the temperature difference, there isn’t really any build up to Christmas here. No Christmassy music in the market, no carol services or nativity plays. I have been really surprised how even at church the season is almost passing by without comment.

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The other strange element is the mass exodus. It’s not unusual for people to travel to family for Christmas but here that involves our Ugandan and expat friends travelling big distances and being away for weeks at a time.

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In some ways its nice not to be surrounded by all that it commercialised about Christmas. We have our own family traditions and with a young family we are making new ones. Connie certainly seems to have the story in her mind as most of her play includes, Mary, Jovis, baby Jesus and ‘wise kings’ who are occasionally called daddy angels.

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Over dinner one evening during advent Connie declared “Jesus is coming”, we asked her when, so she simply replied in a very matter of fact tone… “Thursday”.  For your information, the Thursday in question has passed. She is still honing her prophecy skills.

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Ugandans don’t have many Christmas traditions other than travelling to family so our Christmas will be spent with our Aussie, Kiwi, and American friends. We are all missing family and our countries various traditions but together we are having our own Carols by Candle light/bonfire on Christmas eve. Then on Christmas day, we are showing our Texan neighbours and their friends from Mongolia, what a ‘British Christmas’ looks like. With the help of our Action Team, we’ll be introducing them to the wonders of crackers, pigs in blankets and Christmas pudding.

We are also thrilled that Joe’s beloved sister Alice is with us, our first Christmas in 5 years with family, and she has brought sprouts! The last time we spent Christmas with family was 2011 and my brother Jonny had come too. A rare and precious Christmas that feels like a different world and time.

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We know that Christmas can be a painful and lonely time as well as a joyous one. So wherever in the world you are reading this and however you may be celebrating, we pray your have Christmas is filled with Peace, Joy and Wonder anew. All our Loved ones may not be with us, but we remember that Immanuel, “God with us”, is.

Much love

Lois, Joe, Connie and Reuben

xxx

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14 Responses to “Christmas Greetings from Gulu”

  1. Sheena Frisch

    Merry Christmas Lois, Joe, Connie, Reuben and Alice!

    Thank you for such a lovely Christmas message.

    Much love to you all in Uganda from Sheena, François, Robert, Chloé, and Sophie in Canada

    Reply
  2. Kath Lawson

    Thanks for the Christmas greetings and update Jo, Lois, Connie and Reuben. I will pass them on at church. Hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and best wishes for 2017 from all at Vale BC. Much love to you all.

    Reply
  3. Kate Higgins

    Merry Christmas Lois, Joe, Connie and Reuben! Lots of love from Andrew and Kate xxx

    Reply
  4. Alison Wood

    We arenew to supporting you – Leven Baptist – butwe are so pleased to be partnering you. Thank you for the blog and the Christmas wishes. Hope you have a lovely time and here’s to keeping in touch and getting to know you all better in 2017.

    Reply
  5. Mary

    Thank you! The pictures are a joy and I love your nativity figures. May you have much blessing, all of you!

    Reply
  6. Margaret Morton

    How lovely to hear about your preparations for Christmas! I pray it will be a really special time for you all and that you all stay well. Enjoy the sprouts! Christmas Greetings from all at Kay Street Baptist Church! Xxxx

    Reply
  7. Alison Cadden

    As always your blog is beautifully expressed. The final line reminds me of Michael Card’s “Emmanuel… Our God is with us. And if God is with us, who could stand against us?” Lots of love to Lois, Jovis, Connie & Reuben.
    Ali xx

    Reply
  8. Martha Prescott

    Happy Christmas you wonderful people! Connie’s prophetic gift is impressive! xxx

    Reply
  9. Janet Matterface

    Really interesting to hear about Christmas in Uganda. Your photos are lovely! Best wishes to all of you
    Janet & all the friends at Longfleet Baptist, Poole.

    Reply
  10. Gill and Kevin

    Lovely blog and photos! Hope you have a wonderful time in a very different way. Love and prayers from us both xx

    Reply
  11. Irma D'Souza

    So lovely to hear from you all. Have a blessed Christmas and lost of good things for 2017
    Irma from Farnborough BC

    Reply
  12. Julie ricci

    Lois. I remember u when u were just like beautiful little Connie…..when ur dear dad was pastor at our church ….trinity baptist. Well thats many years back..and here u are in Uganda… Have visited myself on a couple. of occasions..sponsoring and supporting Stephen jota children’s center ..wakiso..outside Kampala. Bless u all my dear in your own work there. .and have a blessed Christmas. May god meet all your needs. Love Julie ricci x

    Reply
  13. Mandy

    Lovely to read your news Lois!! Connie looks so much like you! I remember looking after you when you were that age ha ha!!! You were like MY little dolly ha ha. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas making lots of happy memories. God bless you all Love Mandy xx

    Reply
  14. David Higgins

    Merry Christmas. Our memories of meeting you all last summer on Peggy Sue are still strong. We are settling in well in our new house in Bingham as are Roland and Viv in their new house in Stamford. We have also been up to Worksop to see Katherine, Pete and Ella in their new house. Max is currently staying at Worksop and comes home to Bingham for weekends. Rory, Steph and Beauden are only two miles away. It is lovely to be so close to family after years of relative isolation in Norfolk.

    I am sure that you will be missing your family this Christmas but remember you will be in all our thoughts.

    Much love
    David, Jennifer and Max

    Reply

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