our christmas was extended to more days than we expected because dan's parents came to visit. we knew that we would get to continue celebrating on the 26th but thanks to lost bags our presents slowly arrived over the first 5 days of their visit. thankfully the real reason they came was not to deliever gifts but to spend time with us and their beloved first granddaughter. since dan's mom is a better writer than i am, i will let her share with you her thoughts:
"Fernando and I had the most amazing time in Zimbabwe. Spending time with Dan and Mary and holding and playing with Olivia for the first time were the best gifts we could ask for at Christmastime (or anytime!). Learning about their ministry and meeting so many of their friends and associates warmed our hearts, as we could plainly see how much they are loved and cared for there, and how much their work means to so many. The country is beautiful, as are its people. God is at work, and it is wonderful to see the tapestry of the body of Christ in another land, another culture.
We enjoyed simple home visits as much as we did our "big field trip" to Victoria Falls. We met nationals who are being mentored by Dan and Foundations for Farming, and saw their crop (sometimes maize as tall as seven feet!). The Falls are awesome, and the surrounding community is unique and beautiful. In addition to a tour of Victoria Falls, we enjoyed a river cruise up the Zambezi River (spying hippos along the way) and a wild game ride where we spotted a large herd of elephants, multiple giraffe and zebra, up close and personal.
Precious were the many moments we just hung out at the house, getting to know our little baby girl. She is delightful...so pleasant and fun. And what a trooper -- she tolerated the 11-hour car ride to Victoria Falls as well as any infant could. When she wasn't sleeping or eating, she was mostly smiling and helping her grandparents to enjoy the ride. On our only Sunday morning there, we had the privilege of attending church service at Dan and Mary's home church, and witnessing Olivia's dedication. After the service, a luncheon was held in our honor -- another reflection of respect for Dan and Mary. We wore the African outfits that were made especially for us as a gift from our children."