Nostalgia by The Director's Wife
It seems I’m having a season of nostalgia. The Holiday Season seems to bring this process on, or maybe it is old age. Remembering Thanksgivings and Christmases past. Things that happened when the different children were young. It seems like they were all wonderful times. Remembering the Holidays when I was young. That is really going back. Is that just because we enjoy remembering the good times but not the bad or unhappy times? Is it that there were no bad memories during the holidays? I can’t really tell you. I will tell you that sitting here I don’t remember any bad or unhappy Holiday memories. Sometimes it was a lot of work and planning, especially when we traveled from Great Lakes to California to spend the Holidays with parents and grandparents. Or the times when they were coming to our house to spend the Holidays. For many years we didn’t have a house where the kids and grandkids could come and spend the Holidays. I remember one Christmas when we were spending the Holidays with our oldest son in Houston. His youngest son, asked how come they didn’t come to our house for Christmas. I’m sure it was hard for him to understand that we didn’t have a house, so we spent the Holidays with them. I love the music, the cards, hearing from friends from long ago, giving and receiving gifts, the special foods that we only get at Christmas. I love seeing the joy and happiness on the faces of young and old alike. I wish I could divide myself into six places at the same time and spend the Holidays with each one of the families, my sister’s included. My husband loves turkey. It is his favorite meal. We had turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, his birthday (in early December), and Christmas all fifty-five years of our marriage I do believe. Have you heard the joke about the woman that cuts the ends of the ham when she prepares it because her mother and grandmother did it that way and so does she? Our Holiday meals are like that. We have the same foods for the same meals every year and heaven help you if you want to change it. We thank each one of you for your prayers and support. We pray you have a blessed Holiday Season. Without the birth of Jesus we would have no hope, redemption, joy, peace, comfort, love.

The Widow’s Mite by The Director
While itinerating doing deputation in the U.S., we made a presentation in a church on the severe need for monthly
giving to provide for the salaries of our eleven Indian Pastors/Caregivers. (They receive a mere $180/month of which more than $80 goes for transportation expenses. Afterward, a dear lady came to us and said that she felt like we were supposed to let the members of our Home Cell Groups provide for the needs of their Pastors instead of trying to raise the money in America. She could not
have been aware of several factors that come to bear in Indian culture. Jesus made the following observation in Mark 12:42-44

(ISVNT) 42Then a destitute widow came and dropped in two small copper coins, worth about a cent. 43He called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this destitute widow has dropped in more than all of those who are contributing to the offering box. 44For all of them contributed out of their surplus, but she, in her poverty, has dropped in everything she had to live on.

Be sure that this truth is valid. The problem comes when you try to operate the church with only widows with mites to contribute! Indian village people have virtually NO money at any given moment. They make from $4.00 - $4.50/day when there is work. It all
immediately goes to food and personal needs. So even if they give all at the weekly meeting, it’s only a mite each for the dozen or so people. At this point in our development, only a small percentage of our members have made a firm decision for Christ. Most of them are still "Seekers" or "Pre-Christians." To solicit money from them now would be very detrimental and damaging. Then there
is the accusation by Hindus that Christians only want money from Hindu people and that’s why we proselytize them. There’s also the universal cultural problem of greed wherever money or property is concerned. When there is money available, Indians are overwhelmed with the temptation to steal and be fraudulent and thus sin. So we try to keep that temptation out of their reach until they are mature enough in the Lord to handle it. So you see, it’s complicated! But Father knows
and guides us wisely!