"Everyone" worries about us having a decent family Christmas when we have a prison outreach right on Christmas day, but here we are after the prison (which only took about 3 hours this time!) between lunch and gift time, definitely having a family day.
I'd love to post prison pictures, but that's not ordinarily allowed, so I'll just tell you a little about it. We were invited to speak to a section called Medium [security] C. We were told 900 guys would be there, then, later, it was only 780. I'd say the reality of who showed up, was closer to 300, maybe a little less. But we didn't know that, so we dragged treats for 800 into the prison, just to make sure we were covered. Leftovers are not a problem as we still have another prison outside of town, about an hour and a half or so away, where we need to go soon.
There's some frustration in getting started. I'm not sure waiting would be considered one of my talents, and when I knew 5 kids were waiting for us at home, the pressure was on! I wanted to do a little prison reorganizing and streamlining and speed things up, but we had to wait for ages (it felt like) before things could finally get rolling.
There were oodles of interruptions, guards jingling gigantic noisy bunches of keys, people laughing and passing in the corridor, and prisoners coming in late, but for awhile as Paul preached and drew, there was that holy hush of intent inmates, thrilled to hear about heaven. When Paul put the blacklight on his drawing of heaven and hell, the applause came out loud and fast. There is a hope for murderers and rapists and such, if they will turn to Jesus for mercy. They have only junk to give up, and all Heaven to claim if they trust Him who died for us all. He is good, and it is good to tell ofHim especially on the day we celebrate as his birthday.
We had a wonderful Christmas dinner mostly prepared by Gloria while Paul, James, and I were in the prison.
Joshua initiates Connie into the delights of the new exercise bike. Both Paul and I are both having knee pains, and we've heard an exercise bike may help.
This picture shows off my newest discovery--see my earrings? I can swing the ends up so that the largest bead becomes an ear plug! Why is this so thrilling to me? Well, I discovered it at a service with HUGE speakers, and the music was too loud for me, so this muffles it a bit.
Daniel made us laugh with this toilet paper roll. He opened his Christmas Cracker (my favorite little British/ South African tradition) and said, "Nice!" about the toilet paper roll which is strictly to keep the paper in place, but he thought it was the gift. The gift was really 2 chocolates.
Daniel got his own little tent for Christmas! He liked it so much he slept in it last night.
Connie's so intrigued with Uncle Paul's new book. Connie's 10 months now, and was quite pleased with her first Christmas. Anytime all her people are in one room, smiling at her, is a happy time for her.