This year I will experience a Christmas like I never have before…in China! Not only am I away from friends and family, but Christmas is not a holiday celebrated here. Everyone knows about Christmas but they don’t know the reason for it. These last few weeks have been hectic. Christmas is the best time to share with our new friends about the real meaning of Christmas. Normally I would not enjoy a busy schedule, but the “work” from the last few weeks has been eye opening and rewarding!

The Lord continues to ask me, “What do you put your hope in?” By nature, as humans we are hope-centered beings. All of our joy and sadness comes from the expectations or hope we have in certain things. We put our hope in family, friends, television, internet, earthly possessions, etc. If my hope is not centered around Christ, I will always be disappointed. Living in China has helped me realize what I put my hope in. Where do I run when I’m worried or stressed? Am I running to the Lord first? The Lord has truly stripped me of many things I used to put my hope in. Paul David Trippe said “the doorway to hope is hopelessness.” In the times when I’ve truly felt hopeless, I see where true hope is found.

The gospel is the only REAL hope. I have to remind myself of this every day. I’ve seen how the hope of the gospel transcends countries, cultures, language…and the list goes on. I’m truly thankful for a Christmas in China to show me the hope of Jesus’ birth in a new way.

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16