This year we spent the holidays in Spain and had a great time sharing the holidays with our African friends. For thanksgiving we had a thanksgiving luncheon for the ladies class; complete with turkey pieces, (it is hard to find a whole turkey in Spain) dressing balls, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, gravy, pumpkin cake, and fudge.
For Christmas, we enjoyed having a Christmas luncheon with Ndeye and her family. They said it was “afella lol.” (Sereer for “very good.”) We also enjoyed giving out veggies, rice, and fudge to many of our African friends for a Christmas gift that they could really use – well, maybe not the fudge.
Here in Spain they also celebrate “Three Kings Day.” This is the day that the Spanish folks give out most of their gifts. It celebrates Jesus’ birth and when the three wise men gave gifts to him. The night before Three Kings Day there is a parade in each town. Before the parade this year we had friends over to eat some good ‘ole tex-mex tacos and then we all went to the parade together. As we were watching the horses and floats with the three kings go by, I realized that our group of friends was made up of folks from all around the world; America, Britain, Zimbabwe, Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Russia, and Chile. After the parade we went out for the local favorite – tapas, a little Spanish snack.
The day after Three Kings Day we had a three kings party for the African children. We served a cake made with fudge frosting. Megan, Cade, and Dylan acted out the Christmas story while our pastor read it from the Bible. They dressed up as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels, and the three kings. Mihaela did a craft with the children and then we had a big toy exchange where each child was able to choose several toys to take home.
The holidays are a great opportunity for us to talk with our friends about our beliefs because many of them do not celebrate Christmas. We have spent many Muslim holidays with them, so this is a natural way for us to tell them about our holidays and what we believe about God coming to be with his people.
Now that the holidays are over, things are getting back to normal. Please pray with us that even though the holidays are through, our African friends will continue to be open to understanding about Emmanuel, God with us.