Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year Letter 2007-8
“ ‘Twas the night before . . .
. . . THANKSGIVING!” - and five charming guest ladies* were asleep in our house. The pies they’d helped Jan make in the kitchen were cooling; we all were contentedly snoozing . . .
Suddenly my somnolent slumber was shaken awake by what I first thought was the alarm clock, then realized it was the phone! A glance at the clock, and question as to who would be calling us at midnight! The voice said, Hello! This is your son Wali in Kabul (Afghanistan) - I wanted to be the first to wish you ‘Happy Thanksgiving!’ Talk about ‘a wake-up call’ - but for the next 20 minutes or so, we passed the phone back and forth between us to share conversation with this Afghan Lieutenant Colonel who had become very dear to us personally during his sojourn here at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center, and who is now an English language instructor in his home country!
Dear Family and Friends, Supporters of our Ministry:
Spanning this holiday season, we are realizing anew how blessed we are! As we look back over the past year at what God is doing, we stand amazed at His grace in placing us in such a unique, out-of-the-box ministry! Lifestyle friendship is what it’s all about, while striving to be ‘salt and light’ to Foreign Military Officers from as many as 90 countries around the world, spanning the gamut of rank from Sergeant to General (average rank of Captain overall). Foreign government-sponsored civilian English language instructors are also among the many friends we’ve been privileged to make. While the numbers overall wax and wane, last year the enrollment did top 1,000, with representation from a high of 93 nations! What a privilege to be able to represent our Lord to those we are enabled to befriend, taking them to church, having Bible studies, sharing literature and Christian music, as well as hosting them in our home, on shopping trips, excursions, etc.
Some leave and go back to their country acknowledging they have become Christian; others leave us still seeking to know more. They are made up of Muslims, Buddhists, Orthodox, and some without a confessed faith of any kind; while a few were already real, genuine Christians.
This has been a year packed with blessings! We had the joy of having many friends visit us, even from Mozambique; and in June, our daughter, Dawn (Mrs Rick) Anderson, joined Jan to go together on a missions trip to Cardiff, Wales, with a team from our home church here, First Assembly of God, San Antonio, TX (see the report and pictures on the Recent News link of our website www.martialeagle.net).
In July, we went to School of Missions in Springfield, MO; and also in July, we had a short visit by our son-in-law, Rick Anderson, and two granddaughters, Desirée and Danielle (aka Desi & Dani).
In November, we went back to Dave’s alma mater, Central Bible College in Springfield, MO, for homecoming, a first for us since he graduated 43 years ago! It was great seeing old school friends and meeting new ones.
Thanksgiving Day we hosted 34 foreign personnel, plus eight fellow-Americans, in our home! All indications are for a repeat on Christmas Day. We are also looking forward to our son Dave and his wife, Teresa, coming to spend Christmas with us!
We thank each of you for being an intregal part of what we do---great supporters in praying for us, as well as your financial backing, both of which are the dynamic lifeline for this ministry! Can you imagine that one day some of these people we befriend could even be president of their home country? The current president of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang YUDHOYONO, is a graduate from here, as is the well-known Libyan leader, Colonel Moammar al-Ghadafi! Nations of the world send their very best to study here, people destined to be the movers and shakers in their own countries.
We recently had a sobering reality check in a message conveyed to us that the para-commando mentioned in the opening paragraphs of our Christmas 2006 newsletter was killed a few months after return to his home country. We have no way of knowing whether he was a victim of the on-going Sunni-Shiite Muslim sectarian violence plaguing his home country (his family is Shiite), or whether it was because of his new-found faith in Christ - but in any case we know we will one day see him again!
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a prosperous and Happy New Year, praying that the joy of the season will have its renewal throughout the year to come, as we focus on the One Who was born to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, whom to know is life eternal!
Dave and Jan Hall