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To our Church Family,

Thank you for faithfully praying for our family and for your thoughtful Christmas cards, packages and encouraging notes.  We really appreciated it and feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family behind us.
We enjoyed a great Christmas, celebrating both on Christmas Eve with the other families in our compound and then on Christmas day with some of the other MAF families.  Hot weather and sun made it feel more like a summer gathering than Christmas, but we understand yours was fairly mild too.  Our favourite part was the Christmas Eve time we spent reading scripture and singing carols, with our neighbours here on the compound.  It wasn't the same as our familiar Candlelight service but it was a gentle reminder that no matter where we are, it is the same celebration of Christ's coming to earth.

The girls enjoyed a 3 week Christmas break from school and we were able to do a little day trip down to the Equator and picnic at a forest area on the way home.  It is always a treat to get out of the city and enjoy the quieter parts of Uganda.  As this second school term has begun for the girls, things seem to have gotten busier for the girls.  Hannah and Jasmine are enthusiastic about their parts in the upcoming Peter Pan play and have been singing their songs and saying their lines both at after school practices and at home.  Last week was also School Spirit week with different theme days,  and an all school games morning on Friday.   Teams were made up of students from each grade and they rotated through different games.  Lauren's favourite was the Potatoe Sack race and at the end of the day, Aliyah's team won first for Games Day and second for the over all activities of the week.  She was quite excited about this and enjoyed the prize of ice cream and a candy bag.  This week things have been back to normal with tests and assignments due which always brings a more focused sort of week.  Thank you for praying for Hannah and Jasmine as they wrote their term exams just before Christmas break.  They did very well and even had some surprises of a better grade than expected.

We continue to settle into our church here, getting to know the families and seeking out ways to be involved.  Just before Christmas they announced a need for another teacher to take turns teaching in the 5-7 year old class.   I (Sarah) enthusiastically offered to help out and have enjoyed being able to spend time preparing the lessons and teaching these kids.  Last week there were 30 kids in this class and it was wonderful, a little crazy at times but fun.  We have also been attending a weekly home group which is hosted by a family here on our compound and although it can be a struggle on a week night to get through homework and dinner clean up, to be able to go, it is a blessing to share prayer requests and study scripture together with others from our church.

Nathan continues to do his work out at the hanger, and although the maintenance has been light the past couple of weeks, it is a good sign that the planes are busy flying and in good working order. Over the past few weeks our MAF pilots in the DRC have flown visitors that have come to encourage some of the local churches, missionaries that needed to attend meetings, pastors as they encourage the church in other areas, doctors as they check out needs in some of the more remote hospitals and members of the OEIL team as they continue their work of reconciliation and restoration between the Congolese people.  Though it can seem like just another day, we are mindful that these flights enabled people to be encouraged and strengthen in their faith and helped in physical ways.

As we look ahead to the coming weeks, we want to invite you to pray with us for the upcoming presidential elections here in Uganda on Feb 18 and the week following as results are announced.  Although it is anticipated to be a peaceful election, it can never be guaranteed.   Schools will be closed the day of the elections as well as the day after (Friday) and we will be staying close to home on those days.  Join us in praying for a peaceful acceptance of the results, whatever the outcome may be.

Thank you again for your continued encouragement and support as we daily seek out opportunities to serve others and share Christ's love.

In His Care,

Sarah and Nathan Montgomery

Hannah, Jasmine, Aliyah, Lauren