Originally posted November 20, 2013
When most people think of Christmas, they picture lots of snow, food, family and gifts. Maybe some picture a vacation in paradise. But we doubt many people picture camping on the beach with 10+ teenagers, five adults, twelve kids and four babies. Beach Christmas has become what all of us at Breaking Chains, including if not especially our staff, look forward to throughout the year.
Every year we take our Breaking Chains family to the beaches of Amapala, where we eat, laugh, swim and open presents together. We take a rented bus from Tegucigalpa to the coast, and then take a boat to the beaches of Amapala. A family we know in Amapala cooks all our meals with kind grace, and we’re able to provide some income for them to feed their own kiddos.
Most of our kids jump from the boat to swim before we even reach the beach. The boat ride is easily the most giddy you will see our teens and families all year. We arrive on the beach to a fish or chicken meal (depending on personal choice) directly on the beach, and we spend the rest of the day swimming and laughing. The calls of the street melt away, and our kids get a sense of what Heaven might be like – love, family and pure joy.
As the sun begins to set, we call our residents up one by one to open presents. As our BC family chants his or her name, each child, teen or adult erupts with innocent laughter and they tear away the paper from the package. If within lies that jacket or pair of shoes most desired, you can count on a scream of shock and excitement. As the moon shines over the waves, we all relax, and the kids huddle in excitement to compare gifts. We then all take turns roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire. Once it’s late enough, we throw our mattresses down under a concrete pavilion we rent and talk until we can’t stay awake any longer.
The next morning, some of our kids and teens have already jumped in the water before the sun has even risen. Most of the kids eat breakfast quickly so that they have optimum swim time, but several of the parents stay back chatting, relaxing in the sun. We spend the final hours before lunch enjoying the waves, laughing at everything and forming even stronger connections within our little community. Another fish meal for lunch marks a delicious end to our Beach-Christmas event. We always have trouble convincing everyone to climb into the boat to leave. But the wonderful part is the bonds made on the beach don’t end, and our family becomes a little tighter. God makes such beautiful connections between our residents during Beach Christmas. It’s so incredible to watch every year.
We will celebrate our third-annual Beach Christmas December 19-20 with three families and twelve teenagers. We’re also so blessed to be able to take our five Ochoa kids with us this year. We can’t wait to spend this blessed time all together as a weird, loud family full of love for each other. But we need your help. Each resident needs $125 for transportation, food and gift costs. Please prayerfully consider spreading Christ’s unconditional love this Christmas by sponsoring one of our family members in our Beach Christmas 2013.