We were so blessed to spend Christmas this year in the States. We were able to visit supporters, churches, friends, and family at an incredibly fun time of the year. Plus, we were able to remember COLD! (Gina and Adalyn were less excited about it than I was.) Having spent the past two Christmas’ in Uganda and away from family (for the most part), we truly appreciate the joy of sitting at the same table, sharing the same meal, watching kids open presents, and simply being together.
We started our trip by stopping in Germany for a few days along the way. We started the celebrating by going to three Christmas Markets in three different cities. We also took a horse-drawn carriage to see the castle that Disney based his world around. We spent a sobering morning at Dachau Concentration Camp, trying to wrap our minds around the evil that led to the Holocaust (and trying to explain that evil to our 6 year old). We ate more sausage than we can count and loved seeing the Bavarian countryside. It was a great Christmas vacation for our little family.
Then we were able to visit with many friends and supporters in Central Texas. We ate all the BBQ I could stand (and that’s saying something), and even squeezed in some tasty Mexican food along the way. We spent time sharing with Western Hills Church of Christ about what has been going since we were there last. And we were able to hug so many friends.
We were off to Colorado, but not without stopping in Lubbock to see the Quaker Avenue Church of Christ family. This church started the ministry that we work with in East Africa over 30 years ago. It was a joy to share stories with them, hear history from them, and get to know so many people who support this ministry. And we were able to see a few old youth ministry friends along the way.
Once we made our way to Boulder, we found more welcoming and loving faces. We were greeted by so many friends (who are more like family). We were encouraged and loved as we shared about discipleship and everyday life. I was even able to go snow skiing for the first time in years with a few old youth ministry friends. Gina and Adalyn avoided that cold! But we did get to play in the snow at Rocky Mountain National Park, which Adalyn was excited about. We headed back to Texas with a stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma to see a few friends for a couple of happy reunions.
Then it was time for Christmas…with FAMILY! We spent a week in Houston with Gina’s parents and were fortunate enough to see her family. Adalyn was able to play with cousins, we ate a ton of good food, and we played a rousing game of Pit (a Horvath family tradition). And we went to Ice Land in Galveston where we all found a new level of COLD! (Even I was frozen.)
After celebrating Christmas with Gina’s family, we went to Dallas to see my family for Christmas. We were able to meet my nephew that was born in 2018 and see many people that we love. We ate more food (a common theme of all our stops), we went to Six Flags for Adalyn’s FIRST roller coaster, and we spent quality time with family. And although we weren’t able to see EVERYONE in our families, we were abundantly blessed to see those we did and feel the joy of being together again.
Thank you all for your prayers, hugs, and blessings over this past year. Merry Christmas 2018…such a BLESSING!