Saturday, December 29, 2012

First Christmas in Africa.

Wow, I am sitting here trying to rack my brain of all the details from a few days ago of my first Christmas in Africa with the girls. It was surely a whirlwind of activity. And I loved every single moment with them, and the blessings that was showered on us. Alysse kept saying "I will die, I do not trust this day!" No worries, she woke up the next day, and was glad to see she did not die, and could enjoy all the goodies from Christmas.

We started the evening on Christmas Eve, reading the
story of Jesus birth in English, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili,
while the girls had bottomless cups of hot cocoa, and a few
candy canes. I think the hot cocoa went to their heads,
immediately following the time together reading the
story of Jesus!
Bridgette and Alysse.
The next morning, I woke up bright and early at 5:00am.
I waited....and waited....and waited.....
Finally I decided to be a bit passive aggresive and turn
up the Christmas music. Still I was the only creature
stirring in my house.
So at 7am, I went room to room, to wish everyone
a merry Christmas and get a moving!
And the girls opened their first stockings from
the amazing Crystal Decker and family!




Then the girls got ready and they all went to church. I was not able to go, as I had been having this stomach something happening, and could not see myself making it through a 3-4 hour church service. But once they returned home, they had stocking to open from Jeffrey and Brenda Kim.
I do not think I would get any good pictures,
if I did not promise they could do a silly one
directly following the good ones!
Some stockings from the Kim's!!
Then we all hopped on some moto's and went to a hotel
in Gisenyi to get some lunch!
Then we went back home, and relaxed a bit,
The girls where busy painting their nails.
Decking out in necklaces, bandana's, and munching on
candy they still amazingly had room for after lunch!
Then it was the two presents in the evening a few hours
before bed. (Which some pictures are blurry or missing
because they where all screaming and dancing and
jumping up and down!)
First slippers from the Decker's...
And then the girls opened their pajama's from the Kim's...
and then...
Dancing in excitement wearing their new pajama's
and slippers they got for Christmas.
It just wouldn't be a celebration in Africa without
some (more) dancing!
Passy and Diane came the day after Christmas.
They are living in Kigali now, going to a AMAZING college,
and living with some amazing people, they just adore.
I love their expressions when they were able to come
and open their stockings and presents!
I have to say this Christmas had to rank as my favorite. I am sure the more to come in Africa will also continue to be my favorite!! I got a stocking and pajama's from the Kim's, but couldnt really take a picture of myself. But first in foremost my best present was God coming to earth. And knowing that when I am tired, exhausted, and all the earthly emotions, I have a God who understands. He understands those days I wish I had a boat as well, to just paddle somewhere to be alone to recharge my battery.

And this Christmas it could not have been better, than to watch these girls, who I am so honored and blessed to live with, dance, scream in excitement. To see them feel covered in love and blessings from people on the other side of the world. And as they opened them to scream "THANK YOU BRENDA!" "THANK YOU CRYSTAL!" "THANK YOU JEFF!" and so forth. Those where the best presents.

To get to dance to celebrate Jesus coming to earth. To get to REALLY celebrate his birth. To celebrate his birth to the extent of falling on my bed on Christmas night, with the biggest grin on my face, and filled with joyful exhaustion. And to really celebrate the reason for Christmas.

Thank you so much for those who have loved us so well from the other side of the world. Who made this Christmas unforgetable in so many ways! You have blessed the entire house way more than my words could ever begin to express!

Lots of love from Rwanda,






  1. Tina, blessing are over flowing there, I can just see it.I think you make an orphanage look like a place ya want to live in. I pray this year, 2013 will bring an overflow of love to you and the people of Africa. God needs you there, no question about that!!

  2. What a fabulous story! Thanks for sharing it with us!