Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Betty Draper Shares About A Missionary Christmas Overseas

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
Romans 8:18  (KJV)

Guest Post #15

"Hello Cheryl, thinking on a favorite Christmas is hard. My first one would be the year we had our daughter. I had already lost 6, then had her. We had been married 12 years, so that comes to mind, but so does another one that carries a deeper message in my heart.  By then we had both our children, and God had a special lesson for us all.

We answered the call to be overseas missionaries, and by August 1991, our daughter was entering her sophomore year, our son was in 7th grade, and we were on our way to Bolivia, South America, with 19 bags of our life in them.  It was exciting for us, well, for Ace and I, but our kids were anxious—our daughter more than we knew.  They were leaving the only place they had ever lived, the only church they had gone to, and the only state they had ever lived in.  We felt this pull from others to not go, which made us want to say, "Let us go! We want to go! Stop being negative about it, stop making us feel bad about going!" Our kids, especially our daughter, were praying the plane would crash, we would live, and then we could go back home.  It was a mixture of feelings for all of us that only a Holy God can sort out. 

Our ministry was being dorm parents to high school guys at a missionary boarding school— we had 16 the first year and 35 our last year.  Since it was gender-style dorms, our daughter had to be in the high school dorm, which was only a building away, but still, she was struggling a lot. She was terribly homesick. We told her this was not a sin—Jesus was homesick for heaven.   By the time Christmas came around and all the kids went home, except those whose parents were on staff, the school was a lonely place.  It was cold in Bolivia in the winter if the sun did not come out, and nights were very cold. Our stucco dorm had a huge fireplace in the big living room, so we spent a lot of time around it.  Our four stockings looked so small hanging on the fireplace.

With very few people there during Christmas, we got on a bus to go up to a rain forest that was 10,000 feet, then to a huge 12,000 foot city in the Andes mountains.  We  had little money that year and were not sure the kids were going to get a present, so we just made the trip our present.  Someone gave us some extra money, so Jared got his own soccer ball and Tara got a leather jacket, which was cheap there.  On our ride to and from the school to the city, we saw water falls and stopped and had a snow ball fight with all on the bus.  We stopped at an outdoor restaurant—just two ladies with big pots boiling beans over an open fire among the rocks.  We had to get off the bus in the rain forest, due to a  mud slide, which we all walked across, while the men dug a way for the bus to get across. Finally we were back at the school.  We talked about all the Christmases we had spent with lots of family or church folks around.  This was our first Christmas to spend with just our kids.  It was fun, it drew us closer, and our understanding of Bolivian culture grew.  It was the first Christmas our kids had us just to themselves.  We played games, talked, ate the goodies we made and found in the city, and hiked the countryside, if it was warm.  It was a really relaxing time for all of us. 

When we told our kids we felt like God wanted  us to serve overseas, we also told them it was okay to not be excited about living in a third-world country.  We also had told our kids that God’s only call on their life at that time was to honor and obey their parents, and they were doing that.  It was the first, but not the last time God took them out of their comfort zone.  Sometimes that is the best Christmas.  God’s Son spent 33 years outside His comfort zone!
Thanks Cheryl for letting me share."

Ace and Betty Draper

"Ace and Betty Draper are Member Care Reps for Ethnos 360.
A believer in God wastes nothing.  Being Member Care Reps was His way of using all our experience to help missionaries coming home from overseas.  
The first couple we met in this ministry role was a young couple with two children.  They had finished four years in Southwest Asia and were home on assignment for a year.  After meeting with both their pastors, they met with us.  After two hours of mostly listening to them, they said, "You understood everything we said without us explaining."  It was then that we knew the ministry of Member Care Reps was from the Lord.  Their words validated our ministry.  
We love what we do, just as we loved what we did in Bolivia, South America and Papua, New Guinea.  It is all being a part of reaching those least-reached that live in remote places all over the world."

Please visit Betty at her blog at Wise Hearted Woman, where you will find much spiritual edification and encouragement!  And please be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Betty by clicking HERE!!

THANK YOU so much, dear Betty, for sharing these wonderful memories with us!  You are such a blessing!

In case you missed them, you can read previous Christmas Memory Sharing Posts by clicking these links: 
Christmas from the Dumpster 


  1. Hi, Betty! Such a lovely, heartfelt Christmas story. May God bless you and yours, and blessings to Cheryl for sharing this here!

    1. Thank you so much, Martha! Have a wonderful Christmas, my friend!

  2. Betty and Ace are special people, very special to me.
    The sacrifice is a lesson all unto itself. In the uncomfortable times God is doing the most in us. A needed reminder.

    Love them and their story!

    Merry Christmas!!!

    1. I haven't had the blessing of meeting them in person, but I feel like I know them through Betty's blog, our interview, and our interactions online. They surely are special. I love their hearts for God and the way they find such pleasure in serving Him. We need more people like them. And, we need more people like you, brother. God bless you and your family with a wonderful Christmas!

  3. Hi Betty, What an incredibly beautiful memory!! A selfless act in serving Jesus and then while there creating a very special unique Christmas memory for your children. I absolutely love what you said to your children that it was okay that they weren't excited about the call to Bolivia, but that there only call at that time in their lives was to obey their parents. I'm sure that wisdom carried them in incredible ways through the years and has left a Godly legacy that will live on and on.

    Thank you so much for sharing.