Wednesday, 13 December 2023
Warwick and Lauren Walker serve with SIM Australia in Liberia. Warwick serves as both the Orientation Coordinator and Projects Coordinator for SIM Liberia. Lauren teaches their youngest daughter and is also the Kids Ministry Director for over 35 Missionary Kids.
By Lauren Walker
Christmas has been different for us over the years. Living in Africa has changed my perspective a little from what I had growing up – not that my family ever had the typical ‘fairy-tale’ Christmas while I was growing up in rural NSW.
Here, in Liberia, Christmas for our growing girls always looks a little different. Our Christmas tree is a stick that we paint white and decorate with different things each year. We hang fairy lights and make ‘snowflakes’ out of lunch bags to make the room look a bit special. I even made a giant JOY sign to hang out the front of our house and decorate our palm trees with fairy lights.
One year, we bought a huge 55L bin full of ‘Kool Aid’ (small frozen cordial ice-blocks) and handed them out to all of the Security Guards (on our massive 135-acre compound) who were on duty that day.
Another year, we had a massive birthday party for Jesus with over 100 kids in the community. We fed them chicken and rice, played fun games, I painted faces, we showed the Nativity Story on the big screen, sang and danced. That year, Christmas was around elections and many children would go missing. The children would go door-to-door asking for something small for their ‘Christmas’… and just never come home. To keep them safe, we celebrated with them from morning until night.
The way we celebrate changes slightly each year, but each Christmas Eve for the past 9 years, we go to church and then head up to the hospital as a group and visit the people on the wards. Our family likes to visit all the new mums in the Labour Ward. We sing Carols, pray for them, rejoice with them, mourn with some, and give each of them a gift.
We are so thankful for these opportunities and for our girls to have their focus taken off themselves and put onto others… but most of all, for us, the greatest gift is that of the Lord Jesus, whom God gave to everyone as a perfect gift. It is our privilege to be able to share that gift with those around us.
Pray for our mission workers around the world as they celebrate the coming of Jesus in different cultural contexts. Pray that God would enable and strengthen them in their ministry activities in 2024.
Do you want to financially partner with the work of Warwick and Lauren in Liberia? You can support them here
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