Welcome to Bethlehem!

Reading time: 4 minutes

This week we worked hard on the amazing Christmas event Stable On The Strand (SOTS)! On Monday we started the day at 7.00 am with a meeting with our outreachteam, after which we left with a van to the beach for the first shift. From 8.00 am - 12.00 am we built the Bethlehem stable in the blazing sun (35 ℃), dragged fences, built stables and food tents, painted, etc. After lunch, take a refreshing dip in the sea to cool off, afternoon worship with the team and evening again to SOTS to pray for the event and the volunteers.

On Tuesday we started again with a meeting, followed by a shift from 8am to 12pm. After lunch we were given a clean task to clean all toilets on campus, which we spent more than 2 hours with. Then at 5 PM again to SOTS for the first evening! Great to see what has been built up in such a relatively short time: 'The town of Bethlehem' with all kinds of tents with activities such as face painting, fishing, henna body art, leather processing, dance, muppet show, baking bread in the bakery , shepherd's tent with costumes, woodworking, etc. In addition, the Bethlehem stable with 'Joseph and Mary' and a real baby, real animals (camels, goats, sheep, chicks), a Roman castle where children are dressed as soldiers, large coffee & tea tent with tables and chairs, a huge stage for great singing & dancing performances, various dining tents and a 'circus' where children can play.

The event officially started on Wednesday. I started selling drinks at 5.30 pm until 7.30 pm; then I distributed flyers in a beautiful shepherd's costume until 9.30 pm and greeted visitors at the entrance.

Thursday we spent the morning in the kitchen doing a big cleaning! The walls & joints were scrubbed with bleach, the stock room cleaned, etc. After lunch we left for SOTS where we sold food until 7.30 pm. After a busy shift, I was slightly dehydrated, but it was a lot of fun.

Friday we started the day with worship with the whole base. We then obtained the necessary vaccinations for Papua New Guinea with the outreach team. At 4.30 pm we left again for SOTS, where I was allowed to entertain children in a 'Bighead costume'. The second shift I sold food again.

Saturday I was active in the hennah body art booth followed by the coffee and tea booth in the Town of Bethlehem. Today (Sunday) was the last day of the event. Until 9.30 pm I helped in the tie dye stand ('dyeing' clothes) and as a shepherd I walked around with a (very stubborn) sheep. We then started to break everything down at 9.30 pm. At 2.30 am we drove back to base, tired but satisfied. Fortunately, we have a day off to sleep tomorrow!

It is very binding to work (and sweat) with the team and fun to see how well we have already interacted! Next week (after Christmas) we leave for a week to Airlie Beach for the second part of this outreach.

Nice that you (still) read my blog, much appreciated! Merry Christmas!

December 22, 2019


  1. Erik van Halsema

    Hi Daphne, say big and what many visitors! Nice to read what you are going through.


    • Piet

      Hi Daphne,
      Love reading your stories. Secretly kind of jealous of you.
      All blessings for the coming year.
      Grt Piet

  2. Saskia

    What great weather Daph !! Wonderful to celebrate Christmas in the warmth, isn't it? 🙂

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