Dear All —

Greetings from a hot sunny Cape Town!

First, marry Christmas (we’re still allowed to say this here!)

Next, I apologize for this greeting being late, although teachnivally, it is still Christmas Day in the US (it’s 4 am tomorrow here!) I expected my duties and obligations would have died down a little in December which normally happens but this year, no such luck!

One of my best friends collapsed and died suddenly late last week, I had a whole weekend of responsibilities to open the warehouse for Bibles and even took a trip north to a major vineyard to deliver Bibles to the farm laborers who wanted the Word! Then after the weekend, the Christmas rush all the way past Christmas Day. Last night, I was exhausted. My apologies for this late greeting.

Also, this year, I was the Turkey Man. It is a tradition now started by Lorna’s late husband, Reinaldo, that we celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a Christian family. So many of our co-workers have no family here and Reinaldo was curious about this unique American holiday. He didn’t like turkey at all but after I roasted it according to my secret family recipe, he couldn’t get enough. That was about 12 years ago. This year, Heather Burton had arrived to take her place on the mission field and we had our own Thanksgiving, leaving it to me to do the turkey AGAIN!

Then, for Christmas Day, there was a large gathering of the TLC family plus relatives from up north near the platinum mines and I was asked to roast the Bird. yesterday, we gathered in the 100 degree weather, a few scattered white clouds framing a deep blue African sky and enjoyed the fellowship, food and sharing.

Yesterday morning, I looked out of the kitchen window and saw brilliant white. No, not snow, but God’s magnificent gift — cactus flowers! These cacti only flower for ONE night and when the sun rises, they slowly wilt and die. There was an enormous blaze of white — each flower stretched about 7 inches in diameter, it’s center contains and other yellow flower. I felt it was a special Christmas gift reminding me of Christ, not the baby in the stable but our risen Lord!

So many of our co-workers and Christians sent their greetings in Jesus to all of you, thanking you for your help and dedication to spreading the gospel. We trust that you celebrated a wonderful day today!

My personal thanks to everyone for your love, prayers and support.

Steve Zimmerman

S.A. Christian Mission, Cape Town