Today we had the Christmas party here for our staff. It’s a Christmas braai (cookout for those of you who don’t know what a braai is). While the children were napping, all the staff, volunteers, and the team who is currently here gathered in the chapel for lunch. Don’t worry one person stayed in each house, the care staff switched out during the braai so all could enjoy. Once it started, the Bo’Me (ladies of Beautiful Gate) and the Bo’Ntate (men of Beautiful Gate) started singing Sesotho songs and dancing around the table. Most of us joined in. I didn’t know all the songs, but I knew a few. They are praise songs in their native language. It’s beautiful. So they danced and sang for a bit. Then we sat down and Bryan (Director of Beautiful Gate) read from Luke and gave a message. Then we ate. The braai consisted of chicken, boers (sausage), papa, moroho, and chakalaka. The last three is the traditional meal for Lesotho. So, we ate the yummy food and the yummy dessert (I made cookies, Anita made cake, and Donna made muffins).

After the meal, Bryan and Anita handed out the Christmas gifts and bonuses. Everyone was so happy and grateful. They were so excited to get a gift and bonus. It’s an amazing thing about being here. Back home I used to get a bonus from my work and yes I was happy about it, but I know I wasn’t always the most grateful. I kind of expected it, it was a tradition at my company to give a bonus at Christmas and the only time we didn’t get one was when they had to let people go due to lack of funds. But I’m ashamed to say, I wasn’t always the most grateful. I said thank you, but was I truly grateful?

Another thing I see here, and I saw throughout the braai today is the people here take so much joy in what they do. The ladies here sing and dance at most of our gatherings. Our Social Worker always seems to have a smile on her face and she loves what she does. It’s so neat to see the joy on their faces and through their actions. They love to sing and dance and you can see they are singing and dancing for the Lord. I want that joy. I want the joy of the Lord to radiate through me as I see it in them.

“But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” ~ Psalm 68:3 (NIV)

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