December 24, 1950
The day before Christmas, and all on the ship, waiting to go ashore. How strange to think that it is December 24. We are anchored out in the bay waiting to go into the harbor later. We are near rugged rocky formations (small islands, I guess) projecting out of the sea. No life whatsoever on them. Very picturesque. They say that this part of the world has the scantest rainfall. We can see the Arabian Desert. Not one green thing can I see. We will go ashore after lunch.
The Salvation Army had charge of the church service this morning. Ordinarily the captain of the boat takes charge but because of coming into Aden he gave it over to the Salvation Army. We had a nice service but the man from England of the Salvation Army is careful not to hurt anyone’s feelings and therefore he doesn’t say too much about sin, etc. The one from Canada seems much better at getting to the point and driving it home. He says that the one from England is like a Mexican target shooter – goes all around the object and misses the object. A very good description, I think.
Tonite we have another service. Tomorrow we plan to have a children’s meeting and I’m to give the Christmas story. We had very nice meetings last week. Wyn and I have had lots of fun on this boat. Most of the missionaries going out are our age and that makes it nice. Soon a whole bunch will be getting off and we will feel quite alone. Friday we get to Mombasa and then maybe there will be a letter from you. We’ll be there for New Years. They have the ship decorated for Christmas now. Guess how? Bunting and flags everywhere with some holly thrown in here and there. I understand that there will be a tree tomorrow and that the ship is giving every child a ten shilling gift. They have the day all arranged for entertainment but it won’t be our kind. I’ll open my gifts tomorrow morning. I’m wondering what you will be doing etc. How different from last year for me. Well, I believe that I’ll leave this and I’ll try and finish it after we have been ashore.
– Afterwards –
Well we have just returned from ashore and was it ever different again. The place is built on lava. No vegetation at all. What a place – Arabs, dirt and all that goes with it. Most interesting. I just can’t believe that it is Christmas Eve. Well we must mail this.
Love to you all,