Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and blessings to you and your family! Christmas was quite hot and sweaty, but we put up Christmas decorations and a (donated) Christmas tree – and Christmas lights all over the kitchen to cheer up Shakila, and a randomly moving printout of mistletoe to cheer up Bryan. We had two well-attended services – one Christmas Eve, and one Christmas Day, with plenty of visitors to both.
David with a friend from South Africa
Just before Christmas we were also asked to perform a house blessing for a new family in town, with 70 of their family wonderfully filling the house – and each bedroom and bathroom, as we moved from room to room with holy water to sprinkle. It was a great witness, especially to the some of the extended family members who were not Christians. The food afterward was fabulous! And some ran off with copies of the liturgy, having been impressed with the organization and thoroughness of the American Anglican office.
We have exciting news – we are planning to come to the States in April! It will be two years (time flies!), and we are looking forward to seeing extended family and friends, and reconnecting with our home. Though we love serving God on this island, there is no place like home – and we miss it! This will also give us a chance to go to the New Wineskins convention (for missionaries), as well as to celebrate SAMS’s (our mission agency) 40th anniversary. We will be in Ocala (FL), Ridgecrest (NC), and Lancaster (PA). If you are nearby, drop us a line! The easiest way is through email – firstname.lastname@example.org (and give us your phone number if you’d like us to call).
David at equine therapy
Concerning this trip, we need some special financial help to defray the cost of the tickets (which are $1,700 each). If this is something you can help us with, please contact SAMS (samsusa.org/users/bryan-and-shakila-pyle) or through our email. We also could use some help with transportation, if someone could help by lending us a car while we are in Ocala. Please also pray for us for safety in travel (we are leaving Mauritius Easter Monday), and pray for our hearts – coming back to the mission field after the first visit home is always the toughest for missionaries.
Picture from Armor of God Children's Program (working in partnership with two other churches in the area)
We are excited at the ministry possibilities of this new year – there are a number of new connections we are making, especially with an orphanage nearby, as well as an after-school program for at-risk children. The village we live in can be very transitory, and so we’ve lost some key people as they’ve moved, but are gaining new families also for St. Simon. We also have several families experiencing vivid grief and loss, and have our hands full as we minister and care for these people – please pray for healing and comfort for them!
We would love to hear from you – if you have a chance, drop us a line, and let us know how you are doing!
Warmly in the love of Christ,
Bryan, Shakila, David, and Elijah