[From Julie] All December I’ve been thinking about how to write something. We didn’t send out Christmas cards- it’s too hard from Haiti and I’m just not that on top of it.

Decembers have been significant in Haiti. Really really hard stuff has happened in Decembers here. It’s the month we processed the pain of stepping away from an orphanage and children we love, it’s the month Moses came into our home from a box of abandonment, it’s the month we buried a baby who was left in a trash pile.

It’s the month I acutely feel how far away we are. Far from friends, family, snow, lights, carols and familiar Christmas services.

It’s also the month where amazing and beautiful things happen. Where local schools have said yes to children because education matters, it’s the month where we were able to sit down and be a part of real community meetings where all people had a voice about what they want for their Haiti. It’s the month our family gets to take a vacation and just rest in a place our missionary budget could never afford because of some amazingly generous friends. It’s the month most of HOPE’s support comes in, allowing us to minister another year to this community we love.

It’s the month we are reminded that our hearts are in two places because we love and feel loved by so many.

It’s the month the longing is loudest- For family and friends and the familiar. But mostly for Jesus. That’s good and beautiful, I guess. Hard but good.

So we sit in the tension. The already and the not yet. Pretty sure life is in the groaning…

We don’t live in despair for He has come.

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Merry Christmas- loving and missing you all!