Micah 6:8 says 'What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.' From around a dinner table - this has become the deep commitment and motivation for the Harrison family. Each are commited to giving our life to justice, mercy and walking humbly with our Maker. This blog is our journey....one where we will seek to live in such a manner as to promt the words from God...'well done my good and faithful servants.'

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

It is Christmas Eve…and unlike any other in my life. It is hard to lay here typing….it is so cold. The hut provides little warmth. I am currently inside my sleeping bag and under two doonas. I have socks and a jumper on also.

Today was a special Christmas eve as I learnt how to ‘flick’ the bucket at the bottom of the well so as to tip the bucket and allow it to fill with water before pulling it back above ground. The well is about 4 metres down before the water starts. This ‘flicking’ is an art and I am glad to have added it to my repertoire…Colin of course had it mastered a while ago…but hey….I am still proud of myself!!!

Tomorrow (Christmas Day) we will send the children from the orphanage off to the government school as per usual (imagine that Aussie kids…school on Christmas day) and we will (our family and some other older and younger children who don’t go to school) travel 30 minutes to Sai Yok and buy our lunch to give the cooking team a break. We will then come home and complete all of the children’s jobs before they get home from school….a treat for them. We will haul water to the five ‘hawng nahms’ (toilets) and to the kitchen and to some of the guest house bucket-showers. We will scrub the toilets and sweep – allowing the children to come home…take their river-baths and play a little…something they don’t really do a lot of. We will then have a very special dinner – it will include chocolate soy milk!!!! And give a present to each child.

My mum and dad sent our family a gift of money and so we were able to have a special day at the shop buying a present for each other. Zach bought a tiny Christmas tree and we have put our presents around it in the corner of our hut. Tomorrow after breakfast…we will come down to our hut and have a Milo and a bowl of cornflakes (a huge special) and open our presents. Christmas is different this year but also filled with anticipation and excitement. It is also very interesting to be a group of Christians celebrating within a Buddhist country. It seems to bring a “radical-ness” to this years Christmas and allows you to clarify what the day is about.

Today we were asked by a local village man if we could drive him to get some cement for his house. He is renovating his bamboo hut! We agreed and I was sent to drive him as I had another couple of other jobs to do also. This man bought the cement…5 bags in total… but also bought approximately 100 Bessa Block bricks…and loaded them into the back of the ute. When all was loaded the front of our ute was riding very high and he added to the weight in the back by sitting on top of the bricks. I drove cautiously aware of our damaged steering rod (that is getting fixed next week!) We got back to the village safely and the man, his wife and I unloaded the bricks and cement. The villagers are always a little alarmed that ‘white’ people…especially ‘white’ women are offering to work. I shook my head and said ‘it is ok….’ and continued to unload with them. They said their thank yous and I left saying ‘mai pen rai’ (you’re welcome/no worries). Tonight the message came up to the school (BS) that they were so thankful that I helped them that they were killing one of their chickens to give to the teacher…ME! So……this Christmas dinner may include a village chicken…..! If only you could see the pained look on my face as I contemplate the thought!!!!

Each Sunday morning we work with all the Bamboo School children for about 4 hours, gardening, cleaning and doing odd jobs. Following this time, while waiting for lunch – today there was a brief time to relax. Jordan was sitting around the fire/rubbish pit with one of the boys. This boy had a sling shot and killed a bird that was flying past. The boy (as Jordie watched) cooked the whole bird in the fire and ate….the whole bird…..the whole bird – inside and out! He only threw away the feathers. The boy kindly offered Jord the leg...but Jord refused. I am laughing as I write this….! Dear Jord delighted in relaying this story to us at dinner and was even more excited when I said I would put it in a blog.

We are enjoying our time here. We are feeling more confident in our leadership while the principal is away. We are doing a semi ‘survivor’ theme, as in, the children are in teams, and have bandanas and get points for various things. We are playing games with them and reward them for hard work. The children are responding well to us. They seem settled and seem to trust our leadership.

Zach has had an infected leg again…his whole left calf was covered in puss! I have tried my hardest to keep him off steroids and antibiotics and I think things are improving. I clean and re-bandage twice a day and today had him stay in the hut to try to give him a break from all the bugs outside in the dirt. Once you step outside the hut…you get dirty. Last night he slept for about 13 hours….his body is fighting infection at a rapid rate. Please keep Zachie in your prayers.

Casey and Mackenzie are doing well. We chopped off their hair to make it easier to handle here in the jungle….Kenz then decided to chop a little more and swiped off all the hair and the front and now has a very short fringe….AHHHH! After being told off a little and after I got over the sadness of having a girl who looks like a boy…we cuddled and remembered that hair grows!! Thank the Lord for that body feature!

We are so thankful for letters, emails and comments on the blog. We often print out emails and savour them at home in our hut so we don’t have to read them in a rush in an internet café.

We hope you will take time over this Christmas season to pray for the Karen people. Many of the Karen are Christians…but won’t celebrate Christmas with a heap of food and presents. Rather some families will spend the day hiding in the jungle, fleeing villages or separated from those they love. We who have freedom and identity must pray! Please plead with God that He will raise up leaders who will address the fighting and political unrest in Burma. Pray that God will also raise up Christian leaders amongst the Karen people - leaders who will preach that a relationship with Christ offers a unique freedom and radical identity.

Christmas Day……this morning we woke to a group of 15 or so children singing Christmas carols in their own language and in English. The time was 3.20 am. I got out of bed dazed but delighting in a very different start to a Christmas day. I sat on our bamboo step and looked out into the dark and said ‘you guys are crazy! You think us Gallaweh (white people) do crazy things….you Karen do crazy things also”! They understood enough English that as they left they were laughing. I yelled ‘Dablu’ (thankyou) and went back to bed….as the roosters around the village began their singing!

We wish you all a deeply meaningful Christmas.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas from your friends in the USA!

4:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a journey! May God continue to grant you wisdom and strength, especially with the unrest. May Zac get some relief.
Rocky is going well with the 3 fellowships. I am trying to organise posters of Murri Christian paintings-to go towards a bus. Thai Christmas sounds interesting, I am sure we could have fed heaps of kids with all the food here! love Alan,Karenne

5:29 PM


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