Scenes from Christmas

We were fortunate enough to be able to make a quick trip to the US over Christmas, to celebrate not only Christmas but also the 60th  wedding anniversary of Caleb’s parents. The four younger children and I are now back in Rwanda/Kenya, while Caleb stayed behind a bit to be with Sara and his parents. I have some photos, but I first want to share some good news:

  1. Moses has received his US citizenship. We’d been waiting for some acknowledgement from the US Immigration Service of his application, but we still had no response , and time was running short. Caleb scheduled an informational appointment and he “happened” to see the officer whom we saw in 2013 (he was supervising a new employee). He immediately remembered Caleb and Moses; volunteered to look for the application, which was untouched, and processed it right away. Caleb is supposed to pick up the certificate tomorrow; with that we can apply for a passport from Rwanda.
  2. We traveled safely. Despite some passport mishaps, all went well.
  3. I passed my Internal Medicine Recertification Boards (which I have to take every 10 years).

I also wanted to share my favorite Christmas poem this year, by our friend Tammy Iralu,

Before Frost

Before the birth, it was all angels and light,

but when it came time for the birth,

the wings and accompanying brightness

vanished like butterflies before frost.

I could have used a midwife

or a woman to wash the baby

or at least cook me a bowl of soup.

So when I heard the knock, I rallied.


When Joseph answered the knock,

he saw them standing there,

not all meek and mild

but roughhousing among themselves,

shoving each other for the best view

between the cracks in the wood frame.


They were snotty-nosed, unkempt little beggar boys,

sent away from home to watch sheep

until they grew up and were fit to be trained

in one trade or another.

Joseph could have turned them out.

Just one “Scat” would have sent those boys

scurrying back to their sheepfold.


But even though we had little ourselves,

we knew those boys had less.

If they wanted to share this evening with us,

we would share with them.

Our bread stretched a bit further,

the broth thinned until there was enough for all.


We took a risk letting them in the stable.

They could have stolen our few belongings,

or made a mockery of our poverty,

so little removed from theirs.

And when their unwashed hands cradled our son,

he could have caught cold, or worse.

And yet, something told us that—while there was risk

in letting the shepherd-boys into the stable

(and into our lives) that night—there was even more

risk in shutting them out.

I really choked up when I read this, as we have so many “unkempt boys” who knock at our door, and we know the risks in letting them into our lives, and the risks in shutting them out.

Finally, here are some photos of the trip:

We were happy to have Sara with us again!


Seeing Uncle Steve and his trains!
Visiting Uncle Birch, former longterm missionary in Zaire, now DRC
image1 copy
Caleb’s parents, and their adoring family!


A toast to our newest American citizen (don’t worry-it’s just apple juice!)

Many wishes for a blessed 2016!

2 thoughts on “Scenes from Christmas

    1. thekingfamilyinRwanda

      Thanks! You’ll be glad to hear that Tammy is an Episcopalian! You might have known her daughter, Elspeth/Ellie, at Sewanee. It was fun to see you and Dave in Chapel Hill.
      Love, Louise

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