Corey and Elizabeth McDonald Prayer Letter: "Christmas for Calvary Kids"We had a great finish to 2021. As we approached Christmas, we wanted to do something special for the families in our church, especially the children. When we asked one of our church members about what a normal Christmas was like, it really broke our hearts. We offered our Facebook friends an opportunity to sponsor a child’s Christmas in what we called, “Christmas for Calvary Kids.” In return, they would receive a picture of each child and a personalized thank-you letter. We were overwhelmed with the number of people wanting to participate. So much was given that we were able to bless some children we know outside of the church. We spent a lot of time at stores purchasing gifts. Our children were given the task of picking out gifts for specific children. It was such a special time. So many people wanted to participate that Christmas meals were also donated for each family. The meal consisted of a whole chicken, greens, onions, tomatoes, rice, soda, chapatis (“flatbread”), bananas, and a fresh chocolate cake.

Christmas morning, my family squeezed into the car with all the food and gifts. We went first to my song leader’s home to surprise him and his family. It was wonderful to see the look of complete joy on their faces. David and his wife joined us in handing out the gifts and food to the remaining houses. Every family was so happy to receive the gifts. The following day, we had a special Christmas service, including a “cinema” showing of the birth of Christ, the best Gift of all. At the service, we had a record attendance. Several parents of our faithful children came and expressed great gratitude for giving them Christmas.

This year I wanted to start a men’s weekly Bible study. It is unusual to see many men in church with their families, but God has blessed us with several and some who come alone. After bouncing around for two weeks, we now have a stable meeting location. I am excited about how receptive they have been and how a comradery is building. It is so important for men to have good fellowship and to grow together in Christ.

Elizabeth was able to start “Baking and the Bible,” a ladies’ monthly Bible study. Many of the women in Kenya don’t know how to bake. One of the main reasons is that they don’t have an oven, so Elizabeth learned how to bake with just a stove top.

As we continue to grow in number, we desire to have our own location, a place we can have for more than just a few hours on Sundays. Inasmuch as we would love to buy land, we are also exploring leasing opportunities. We see many plots that are only growing vegetables, with very little return. We would be willing to lease one of those plots and pay the owner much more than what they get from farming. Now we only need one of these owners to understand and be willing to lease. We are trusting that God will direct us. To purchase land where we are would cost about US$300,000 for half an acre. If we go just outside of town, it is US$100,000 for half an acre. The main downside to moving out of town is the added travel for our members. Many are willing to walk a kilometer or two but not more. Please join us in praying for God to direct us in our search and for us not to get ahead of God. Having our own location will open numerous ministry opportunities.

Corey McDonald