Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Prayer Letter

One of the oft repeated phrases in our house is “You don’t need more stuff, you need more contentment.”  Joshua and I pull it out after toy commercials or walking past toy store windows or pretty much any contact with toys that do not belong to our children.  Some day the girls will surprise us and use it on us when we’re walking past an Apple Store.  In this season bookended by Thanksgiving and Christmas we have a welcome reminder to stop and contemplate what we have been given. 
home/hōm/  (noun) The place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household.
We have called so many places home in the last year due to our travels in the US.  We were overwhelmed by the hospitality offered us.  But at the end of our trip we looked forward into walking into our own front door and sleeping in our own beds. 
On the short walk between the bus stop and church there is an abandoned market square, with crumbling cement stalls losing the battle with the weeds.  As we walked into the cold wind this Sunday I watched some children duck out of one of the stalls, run to another and knock on the scrap wood covering the doorway.  There are families living in those buildings, without insulation, heat, or plumbing.  I am thankful for an apartment with a door that locks and windows the wind can’t penetrate, radiators giving off heat, pipes running with water.  We are richly blessed, and deeply responsible.  When I pointed the makeshift homes out to Noemi she instantly tried to think of ways to help.
We are thankful Jesus left the unimaginable luxury of His home in heaven and came to earth where he had “no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58) We are looking forward to our forever home in heaven with him, and praying that the families living in the market stalls today will join us there, living in the joy of God’s presence.

hope/hōp/ (noun) 1archaic : trust, reliance
2a : desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment; also : expectation of fulfillment or success
b : someone or something on which hopes are centered

The train’s headlights were shining on the walls of the tunnel as it headed around the corner to pull into the station.  A woman slid off the platform, onto the tracks and walked into the tunnel.  The people nearby instantly reacted with frantic shouts, arms waving.  Somehow the train stopped in time and she was rescued, for the moment.  Joshua and Noemi witnessed this episode from farther down the platform.  A few days earlier one of Joshua’s students was late to class in the morning because of a similar event on her train.  We imagine the financial climate here has something to do with these incidents, but there could be any number of explanations.  When it comes down to it, the despair of life without Christ must be overwhelming. 
We are thankful for the hope He gives us. Jesus not only gives us hope, He IS our hope.  Merry Christmas from the Dunckel Family!  Thank you for partnering with us in sharing this hope!

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