This week is going to be a bit of a departure from our normal pre-Christmas preparations. Usually we spend the week before Christmas getting gifts ready, making cookies and other sugar-loaded treats and planning our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day travels.
This year, though, we're doing a different kind of preparation. Starting tonight, we're packing our bags for a trip to Mexico. We leave Thursday evening as part of a Nappanee Missionary Church Global Impact Team that will spread some Christmas cheer to our ministry partners in the Juarez area. We'll hand out food bags, Christmas gifts, prepare a Christmas dinner for 70+ people and share with several churches during our five days south of the border.
Katie, Hanah, David and I are all very excited. As parents, we can't think of a better way to teach our kids the value of giving and serving others. We hope this will teach us all how much better it is to give than receive.
Another significant event kicked off this week. It's really only significant to us, but I thought I'd share it with you. After seven years of driving a 1998 Mercury Villager minivan, we finally put it out of its misery and bought a new van. Our Villager was a true blessing to us. We bought it shortly after our daughter was born in 2002 and we've never had major problems with it. It's been through seven years of child transportation, a drive to Kentucky and back, an accident that the insurance company deemed a total loss, a one-day disc golf marathon with six guys in tow and countless trips between our house and those of our families who all live about an hour away. We put about 80,000 miles on it and it still runs great. But, there were enough little things starting to go wrong that we thought it was a good time to upgrade.
What we found as a replacement is a 2004 Toyota Sienna. It's a really nice van and from everything I've read it's one of the highest-rated vehicles you can buy. So, we're hoping for at least as good of results as we had with the Villager ... maybe even better!
God has been good to us this Christmas season. We've received many blessings and we're very thankful.