Happy New Year! 

What a year it has been! 2023 was one of the biggest years of change for us in a very long time! How was your year? We would love to hear from you and get an update on what’s going on in your life as well. 

December wasn’t so active, we worked a lot, but most of it was online. The website is getting a complete makeover. Right before Christmas we launched a brand new “history” page, in celebration of 20 years as a ministry. Yes, you read that right, in 2024 Warm Blankets Switzerland is turning 20! For anyone who’s been on teams or partnered with WB in the past, go check it out, you might even find a photo of yourself! https://warmblankets.ch/de/history. 

Friendships and community take time to build. That’s one of the more challenging parts about long distant moves. In the beginning your community is small or non-existent, it takes time to make new friend circles and find your places of community. We are grateful for our growing community here. This month we actually had to turn down a few invitations because they overlapped with other social invitations, isn’t that wonderful!? 😀 I’ve included a few photos from one afternoon with our friends Neang and Roet, and their children Omnol and Bronae. They took us to an outdoor restaurant that’s decorated like an old traditional restaurant from the late 60s. It was super cool! We also celebrated Advent with a group of families from Kampot, and Benjamin and I are making friends at “Nelly’s Farm” which is an outdoor play space for families with children. 

Christmas looked very different for us, but it was still nice. We had a plastic Christmas tree, and I didn’t make any Christmas cookies. On December 17th we enjoyed celebrating Christmas with our church family, and on the 23rd and 24th we went kitesurfing at the beach. There was a kitesurfing event, and Lukas even joined in a race! On the 24th in the evening we enjoyed a Christmas barbecue with some kitesurfing friends, and on the 25th we had a lazy day at home with the Christmas story, snacks, opening presents, naps and pizza by the river.

On December 27th we installed a water filter in a church that provides free daily tutoring for about 40 poor children from the community. While Lukas and Neang installed the filter and tested the water, Roet, Bronae, Benjamin and I taught two lessons about washing hands and how to protect and safely store our drinking water from dangerous bacteria. We used glitter glue to represent harmful bacteria that can get on our hands and spread to our food and drinking water. I love this teaching tool, because just like bacteria, it takes a little soap and some scrubbing to get the glitter glue to come off of the children’s hands. 

A few days after Christmas we received a box from Lukas’ old work friends at CSL Behring in Switzerland where he worked for 12 years. They send us some laboratory equipment and lots of Swiss candy and cakes! It was such a sweat surprise!

I didn’t take any photos from our New Years Eve, but it was also spent with new friends – our neighbours and their three children. We had a shared meal, and then sat outside together talking while the kids ran around and played and set off fireworks. It was relaxing, and it felt good to be in community.

Well, that was our December! Thanks for taking the time to read and to join us in a small way as we live and serve in S.E. Asia. 

Here’s the photo link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/wSTNRTxfLftqHasE9


Jenny, Lukas and Benjamin Graf