What a wonderful night – FULL – of fun and fellowship!
A few weeks ago we hosted a Christmas Dinner for the Staff’s teenagers. Tonight we held a special party for their parents! We invited our staff over for a Christmas/Thanksgiving Feast!
And when I say FEAST – – I mean FEAST! There was goat, chicken, turkey, ham, lobster, & fish! We had lasagna, rice, potato salad, fries, plantain, cole slaw, macaroni, beet salad, another salad, and two different cakes!!
WE ARE THANKFUL…
We started the celebration off by going around the table and saying what we were thankful for. For me – this is a very precious time that I hold dear. I remember one year the cook’s husband died just a few weeks earlier. She thanked God for the time that He gave her with her husband. For the memories that she will never forget. (If I’m being honest – I’m not sure I would be thankful – or even talking to God if I just lost my husband a few weeks ago).
It’s very humbling to hear the staff talk about how great their God is – – when I know their lives are so very difficult. Tonight as they shared… you could still feel their fears. Each had their own story about how the hurricane and flooding effected them. One of the ladies shared how she didn’t sleep last night because the wind was blowing… her son was crying. Her heart was racing. While all of us are doing our best to move forward – the PTSD is VERY real. I could sense their fears in their voices…but their thankfulness for God’s protection was even greater. It’s quite an honor to share a dinner table with such an incredible group of Christian servants.
After we went around the table, Pastor Agenor prayed for the food. Then everyone feasted and feasted!
SECRET SANTA REVEAL
After we ate – I revealed their Secret Santa! This is the best part of the night – revealing who had them and listening to them laugh and laugh at the results!
Everyone drew a name back at Thanksgiving! Then this weekend they each told me who they “thought” had their name. Tonight I revealed whether they were correct or not. If they guessed correctly – then they get a prize. If they are wrong – then the person who had their name gets a prize!
Here’s the Results of the Secret Santa Reveal:
Mme Nene guessed Vanise – Vanise had her – Mme Nene wins
Kenson guessed Malonea – Malonea had him – Kenson wins
Tizzie guessed Agenor – Jose had her – Jose wins
Vanise guessed Elirose – Elirose had her – Vanise wins
Mme Certisse guessed Jose – Tizzie had her – Tizzie wins
Doumy guessed Momma Gigi – Jesumene had him – Jesumene wins
Malonea guessed Mme Certisse – Kenson had her – Kenson wins
Smith guessed Elirose – Pierre had him – Pierre wins
Jesumene guessed Susan – Susan had her – Jesumene wins
Beth guessed Bena – Smith had her – Smith wins
Susan guessed Smith – Bena had her – Bena wins
Jose guessed Momma Gigi – Celavie had him – Celavie wins
Sermilia guessed Pierre – Momma Gigi had her – Momma Gigi wins
Agenor guessed Mme Certisse – Mme Nene had him – Mme Nene wins
Nene guessed Momma Gigi – Sermila had her – Sermilia wins
Celavie guessed Jose – Nene had him – Nene wins
Momma Gigi guessed Sermila – Mme Certisse had her Mme Certisse wins
Pierre guessed Kenson – Doumy had him – Doumy wins
Bena guessed Agenor – Agenor had him – Bena wins
Elirose guessed Beth – Beth had her – Elirose wins
I know this year has been especially hard for our employees. Usually I buy gifts and number them. Then we pull numbers from a hat…. whatever number you draw – you get the present with the matching number.
This year I wanted to bless them with spending money so they could buy gifts and/or food for their families. Because the roads are still cut – everything is so expensive here. I know they are struggling.
So after we revealed Secret Santa – we did a Santa Walk…. well our version of a cake walk. I placed numbered Santa hats on the ground in a circle. In the middle of the circle was a table full of Santa Boxes.
Each box contains a different amount of money. A heavy box might mean there was a lot of small bills….a lighter box might mean that there’s bigger bills. OR maybe some are the complete opposite! Who knows?
So you walk in a circle until the music stops. Then I pull a number out of a hat. If it’s your number – you get to pick from the gift table first. You can shake the boxes – compare the weights of each box – BUT you can’t open them! We repeat this over and over until there’s no gifts left.
ROLL THE DICE
After the cake walk we played one more game. I wrapped a box – inside of a box – inside of another box – which was inside another box! You stand in a circle around a table.
One person puts on two oven mitts and a Santa hat. The person to the left of them rolls two dice. The person with the oven mitts tries to open the gift BEFORE the person beside them rolls a double.
If they roll a double then you pass the gift to them and they pass the dice on to the next person. The winner is the person who gets to the very last box before the person beside them rolls doubles! Tonight’s big winner for this game was Doumy!
FABULOUS ENDING TO A FABULOUS NIGHT
After the game everyone went through the food line one more time so they could take leftovers home to their families! A great time was had by all!
Tonight they got to eat until their bellies were full to the rim with foods they never get to eat at home.
Tonight they went around the table and with tears they shared why they were so thankful!
Tonight they laughed until it hurt as we revealed each other’s Secret Santa!
Tonight they got to forget about their struggles – forget about their pain – and live in Joy!
Tonight they went home knowing how much they are loved!
Tonight they were reminded of the never-ending goodness of God.
I can’t believe God allows me to be apart of what He’s doing here ….that He called my family to serve Him in Haiti…. that He makes it possible for us to do special things with the people we love here.
There are certainly moments and seasons where I’m not sure I can handle what God has laid before me…. especially these past few months…. but I can’t imagine doing anything else or serving alongside anyone else.
GOD IS SO GOOD!