It's time for Beach Christmas 2016!

Originally published Nov. 25, 2016

It’s that time of year again, friends! Our education students and young adults have worked hard all year, and now it’s time to celebrate with Beach Christmas.

Each year just before Christmas, our BC families and young adults sneak away and take a trip to the southern beach of Amapala. This annual tradition has become a treasured time for our BC family and is something we look forward to all year long.  It is a chance to trade in the noise and crowds of the city for the peaceful waves and open air of the coast. We enjoy time with one another, renew relationships and thank God for a year’s worth of blessings. We also eat some delicious food prepared by our beach family hosts and open a few presents that generous sponsors provide.

This year, beach Christmas will take place Dec. 17 and 18. We’ll load up on Saturday morning and begin the two and a half hour ride to the coast. Once we get as far as we can by bus, we’ll load everyone and everything onto a couple of boats and take the scenic ride to the island.

Once we arrive, we’ll be greeted by Diastefano and his family, our local friends whom we have come to know and love over the years. They’ll let us use their beach shack as home base while everyone plays in the ocean, and at lunchtime they will prepare a delicious meal – a choice of fish, chicken or shrimp.

We’ll spend the day just being together – making sandcastles, playing in the water, kicking the soccer ball around the beach or just sitting around sharing stories. As we look out at everyone laughing and enjoying one another’s company, we are always overwhelmed with gratitude for the way that God continually watches over our family.

Just before the sun starts to go down, we’ll gather everyone in a circle to open presents. Our sponsors provide the funds for each person to receive a new outfit (shoes, shirt and pants) plus one extra gift. As each name is called, the individuals pass to the center of the circle and open their presents while the rest of the family watches and cheers along.

Later in the day, we’ll roast hot dogs for dinner and make s’mores. After spending some more time talking and laughing, we will eventually head to bed. In the past, we have spent the night camped out under a pavilion on the beach. Over the past few years, though, the pavilion has gotten older and the roof has become rickety. When the wind from the ocean blows against the tin, the loud noises make it difficult to sleep. Because the whole point of the trip is to encourage rest and renewal, this year we have decided to book some rooms at the nearby hotel instead.

The next morning, we’ll eat breakfast provided by our beach hosts and spend more time playing and relaxing. After lunch we will pack up, say goodbye to Diastefano’s family, load onto the boats and begin the trip back to the city.

The idea of Beach Christmas is simple. There is nothing too extravagant about the places we go or the things we do, but the value it has is immeasurable. Life in Tegucigalpa can be tough, and our BC families and teens are no strangers to struggle and hardship. Beach Christmas gives everyone time to reflect, thank God for his faithfulness and renew their spirits to keep pushing toward their goals in 2017.

We need your help in order to make Beach Christmas 2016 possible. This year, each individual needs $150 total to cover the costs of their food, lodging, transportation and gifts. In the past, the sponsorship cost has been $125. Because we are staying in a hotel this year, we need to increase the cost by an additional $25 per person. You can choose to sponsor the full $150 if you are able. You can also choose to contribute $125 (the past amount) or $25 (the additional amount) and we will pair sponsors together to fulfill the full sponsorship needed.

We will be posting individual profiles over the next several days. If you wish to sponsor a particular individual, simply indicate so by clicking on the blog title and leaving a reply in the comments section. You can contribute via PayPal on the donate page here. You can also make check contributions out to “Breaking Chains Honduras” and mail them to P.O. Box 20454, Oklahoma City, OK 73156.

We thank you in advance for your generosity. We are always humbled by the outpouring of love we receive this time of year, and we can’t wait to share Beach Christmas 2016 with you!