04 December 2014

A Merry Mattaw Christmas!

Well I'm in the middle of still writing up the story of our two newest babies we rescued this year but turns out the pics I need(want) to tell the story is on a phone, in Dropbox being downloaded and two computers, one computer which is needing repair. So in the meantime, here's a bit of what our Christmas season looks like around here. 

Last year our little fam did an advent calendar for the first time. I made envelopes and put activities and scriptures in it. It involved things like making a gingerbread house, writing cards to grandparents (which i STILL have, ha!) and taking pumpkin bread to friends. This year I wanted to make one for each house at mattaw but since the families can't do exactly the same activities we did, we came up with a new list and so far the kids are LOVING it. 

Here's what our calendar looks like...

The word advent means "coming". So we celebrate that in the Old Testament scriptures pointed to Jesus coming and he came. Now we read of prophecies that he's coming back again, and He will!  So I searched around wanting different scriptures than last year and found these super cool ones below:


So each day, after dinner, the kids gather with their families and open an envelope to find a scripture. The scriptures tell of a prophecy told in the Old Testament and how it was fulfilled. Then at the end it tells of the prophecies concerning Jesus coming back for us. I love it!  Gets our focus in the right place :). And we are constantly talking of Jesus wanting his bride prepared for His return so this was perfect. 

I also included an activity they do daily and some treats here and there. Once a week we rotate houses to go pray for kids in the hospital. Another day, once a week, kids rotate to go help one of our widows that we minister to often. This was another way to help get their focus on our mission is to give and as the says goes "you're more blessed to give than receive". So it's a valuable lesson we teach our mattaw kiddos. Then they do things like make cards for sponsors, friends and their parents. And we throw in some fun stuff at home too. 
-Mondays are craft days. We are decorating our houses and multipurpose building. 
-Tuesday are movie days with popcorn. 
-Wednesday are hospitals. Then masala chai (yummy spiced chai) at night in their homes. 
-Thursdays are family game night with candies or chocolates. Then reading about the nativity and each house is preparing to act it out on the last Sunday afternoon of advent :). And do we ever have the cutest babies for baby Jesus. Let's hope they cooperate! 
-Friday mornings houses take turns to learn how to make cookies and make them, then evenings are dance and singing competitions and everyone enjoys the cookies made. 
-Saturday is clean up around mattaw and then hot chocolate at night. 
-Sunday is testimonies in the evenings along with lighting one of the five candles of advent. I picked up a few Christmas songs on guitar so we are teaching each other Christmas songs in Swahili and English, so fun. The houses that go out during the week to pray in hospital or help a widow, share about their time. y

As for the supplies, it was super simple. There's 25 days in the calendar so at the grocery store I found packets of cute brown envelopes that come in packs of 25. Then there were bags of red clothes pins in packs of 30. And a big roll of twine to hang it all on. I printed out the scriptures off the website above and also printed Numbers 1-25 off in a cute font. The older girls in each house helped cut out, color and glue. They wrote out activities on construction paper and put in each envelope. So at night they read what they do the next day. If they aren't going to a widows house or hospital to pray, then they know who is going and who to pray for as they remain at mattaw. Once they pull out the scriptures, then we glue them on the outside each day so the littles can see what day we are on :). (And one less question mom and dad have to answer!)

And that's that!  Making it a Merry Mattaw Christmas....


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