This year, as always, well as long as I know of anyway, the missionaries got together to do some caroling on the wards and then to give Christmas presents to the patients. It was a special time for the missionary family to be together, but also for me to have the opportunity to share Christmas in a small way with the patients. For some of the patients this will be their last Christmas, which is hard to think of, but a great reminder of why I am here serving these people.
I couldn't help but think of Jesmeal throughout most of the caroling. He had been an active energetic kid who now just lays there sleeping most of the time and occasionally smiles and laughs. Too often I thought that this would be his last Christmas, but how I pray that he will walk and run again.
On C ward, I saw Bill say hi to Anton. Anton, not much younger than I, has AML - leukemia, and didn't fare too well with a round of chemo. He has been in the hospital for over a month now, and will likely be here until he dies. His family faithfully takes him outside each day where he can feel the breeze and lay under the sun. The leukemia has made him blind, so he can no longer see, but he will see one day soon when he is in heaven.
Christmas is usually a time of joy and good memories, but for some it involves heartache and sadness, due to the sin in our world. The birth of Christ was a joyous time for those who were waiting for Him, for his parents, and for us today. Shortly after Christmas there was heartache and sadness as Herod killed all males under the age of 2, hoping Jesus would be one of them. Jesus wasn't, and so today we have a Risen Savior who we can worship and follow. This Savior also says He is with us always (Matt 28:20), and strengthens us for the battles we face.