Here is an update on our seemingly never-ending Christmas project.
Okay, I'm sorta joking about this. The work probably isn't taking more time than other years, it's just that we started so late, since many of the donated items didn't arrive at our house until after Christmas. It just feels wrong, somehow, to still be making Christmas presents in the middle of February!
We have created and distributed around 180 boxes. The average size of the families who receive gifts is probably about 6 people, so this translates to approximately 1080 people who have received gifts. We have another list of gifts to create, for about 6 pastors, and we expect another 20 - 30 additional names to dribble in over the next week. Then, I believe, we will be closing the project for this year.
In a change from previous years, instead of distributing the gifts one by one, which involved many hours of torturous travel for us, this year we distributed the gifts to each denomination's supervisor, and left it up to them to get the gifts to the pastors. So, we don't have many pictures, this year, of happy pastor families receiving boxes. We would know, however, if the pastors didn't receive their gifts, because we have already had pastors who received in past years, coming by our house to see why they hadn't received this year! (Generally, the problem has been that their supervisor hadn't gotten the list to us at that time, and they simply needed to wait a bit longer to get their gift. As you may have noticed, it is well past Christmas at this point, so it isn't surprising that some have wondered if they were going to receive a gift!)
The end is finally in sight here! We're glad to be able to support and encourage the pastors who work in the remote and rural areas of the mountains of Lempira in this way, and they are extremely grateful for these gifts. The pastors really don't mind that the gifts didn't arrive by Christmas, so I will try to alter my gringo mentality to fit theirs. Meanwhile, maybe I'll call these last few gifts Valentine's Day presents.