Not sure even where to start - Christmas Eve with Casa Gabriel was one of the most special nights of my life. We started the evening with a huge feast of turkey and all the delicious sides. After dinner, we had a special time of giving thanks to God. Phil Douce (the director of Casa G) asked everyone to say something they were thankful for this Christmas. I praise God that He helped me to understand what the boys were saying. One could not speak without crying, one was thankful to be off of the streets, one was thankful to now have a family with all of us...
Sometimes I forget the background of these boys and what difficult experiences they have endured. I am thankful to be a part of each one of these boys' lives. This ministry is a gift from God. After a time of thanksgiving and prayer, it was time for the gift exchange.
With two big brothers and now 11 more older brothers with Casa Gabriel, Molly loves to be with girls any time she can. She had so much fun with the Douce girls and their cousin, Becky. Danelle (in the middle) is precious with Molly. Every Sunday, Danelle eats lunch with Molly in her lap. Chelsea Douce (on the right) goes to college in Missouri, so it has been a treat to get to know her and her brother, Jordan. Jordan also goes to college in Missouri.
During our Christmas Eve feast, Jordan went around to everyone and asked what their favorite food was and charted their answers on his graph. Chocolate was the winner!
Molly was Juan Miguel's secret santa. We did have to help her a little because she wanted to get Juan Miguel a Strawberry Shortcake for his present. Molly thought he would love that!
Daniel was excited to have picked Jordan's name out of a hat - he got to buy cool toys for Jordan! My favorite part was watching the faces of the givers. Each boy from Casa G received ten dollars to buy a present for who they picked. It is always more fun to give than to receive!
Luke was Alejandro's secret santa and he had so much fun picking out just the right gift - a hat and a clock for his room.
We ended our evening with a very big surprise! Our church, Grace Community in Tyler, Texas, raised money to buy new bicycles for each of the boys at Casa G! Thanks to our Student Ministries at our church - they had a Gift a Bike drive for Tyler and included Ecuador, too. Our church is such a blessing to us - THANK YOU!!!