Friday marked a very special day here at The Esther School. Not only was it the last day of the first semester of this school, it was also the very first Esther School Christmas program. Weeks were spent planning and preparing for the day. The decision was made to hold the program outside, on the grounds of the neighboring government school, in order that we could invite the entire community to attend. Lindsey directed the performance and worked diligently writing the script, organizing details, and leading rehearsals with the students. Tina and Arika helped Jean make costumes and assisted behind the scenes guiding and directing children. The teachers rehearsed daily in their classrooms. The children were so excited!

The script was based purely from the Scriptural account of Jesus' birth. Intermixed with the text were songs performed by the students, and even a duet by Getrude (Zambian Preschool Teacher) and Lindsey. They sang a beautiful version of, Mary Did you know?. Kindergarteners all had "costume parts", as they dressed up like Gabriel, the heavenly host of angels, Joseph, Mary, the wisemen, the shepherds, Herod, and Herod's advisors. The preschoolers all looked precious in their little sparkling halos, as they made up the angel choir.

The performance was led off by the local orphanage who did a short skit and song announcing Jesus' birth, and it concluded with corporate worship amongst us and all who had gathered there together. It was a time of sweet fellowship, and was even sweeter as we recognized the milestone that the day was. How far the students have come in this first semester! What progress they have made academically, and how much they have grown socially and spiritually! We are so very thankful.

We gathered under the canopy of trees at the local government school, enveloped by thick, dark rain clouds. We prayed the rain would hold off, and not one drop fell during the performance. Thank you to many of you who were praying with us! While we did not have a live nativity (this year), we were greeted by a herd of cattle that came through the school grounds at just the right moment! God is good and is always in the details!

We are excited to share some of the photos with you of this most special day. We truly can't thank you enough for all of the support and prayers you have given on behalf of the students and staff of this school, especially in this year. We are so grateful, and we wish you all a most blessed Christmas. We look forward to sharing all that God has planned in the new year.

Merry Christmas!

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