2nd December 2018

If it's hard for you to believe that another December has come around again, we're right there with you. Christmas is less than four weeks away and that means that we have no time to waste. There are lights to hang, gifts to arrange, programs to put together. Suffice it to say, the Mission "elves" will be extremely busy to pull off another memorable Christmas for our kids and the many visitors this season brings. It's always such a wonderfully exciting time of year.

Before we get to Christmas...let's take a quick look back at Thanksgiving that we celebrated last Sunday. Though not an Indian holiday (or an Australian one), we like to spend time with those that we love and give thanks to God for all the things we have to be grateful for. As is our tradition, we invited everyone at our church service (and even those who could not attend), to have a special festive lunch with us. The food was great, the house was packed, and Auntie Violet was Queen of Thanksgiving!
Wide view of the Thanksgiving commotion. No turkey but lots of gobbling.
Sheetal showing off her hands-on eating style.
Some of the kids, gathering around the Queen of Thanksgiving.
Auntie Violet was a good sport to put up with this shot.

This week also saw another celebration as little Aaron Shipway turned four. Far too many sweets were consumed by kids both young and old after Aaron cut into his specially made dragon cake. Many creative minds came together to produce the final cake, but really, Priscilla Shipway deserves the birthday credit. If your invitation somehow got delayed in the notoriously slow Indian's what you missed.

Aaron was fully lit up for this event.
Order your Orange Dragon Cakes from
Aaron pointing out that the dragon's spikes are in fact candles.
Not a bad crowd for a 4th birthday party.
Father and son, discussing the perils of extreme sugar intake.
It's really not a party until someone has a giant scorpion on their head.

After the party, an impromptu photoshoot broke out using a stack of balloons as a prop. It really has nothing to do with anything, other than it was another moment of happiness that made for some fun pictures.

You know that shot where you throw the balloons in the air then jump and it looks like the balloons are carrying you away? Well, this is right before that.
Yeah, more like this.
Suhalia not worried if Rosey gets carried away.
Kelly sporting the latest in balloon fashion.
Rick's nephew Lachlan has been helping out at our school, teaching guitar to some eager young musicians. Three to four classes each day keeps him busy with eight guitars in the hands of new and eager strummers. It's a lot of work and patience (and tuning), but the kids are loving it and, who knows? Lokki may just be creating the next Indian superstar.
Lokki teaching the beginners a few tricks.
The School of Rock is in session.

We also took a moment to update our supporters at S. Group in Australia about the staff housing project they helped to fund. Stepping in to give the tour and the details was our own Peggy George, starring in this short 1 minute video. Work is coming along nicely and soon the structure will be taking shape. Take a look and enjoy Peggy's solo acting debut. 

Peggy's new house is coming along nicely. 
One unexpected event happened for Clifton this week. After working on a 14 day photo shoot with Royal Enfield a few weeks back, he was invited to ride, model and review the new Triump Tiger 800 XRx by Indian magazine MoTown -his review will be in the January edition. A crew of six even drove out from Delhi, bringing a Ducati Scramber 1100cc for him to try too. Naturally, Clifton and his dashing good looks were more than happy to drag the bikes over rocks and rivers in our jungle while the film crews and photographers captured his every move. Look for billboards and commercials near you in the near future...but for now, it's just fun to race expensive toys through the jungle.
The crew on their way into the jungle.
Clifton soaring through the air as international models do.
Parwat loved being a part of the crew on this shoot. We are proud to say that every one of these photos are his...
...except this one that Clifton took of him helping out.
Rivers became roads for the Triumph Tiger which was at home in the jungle.
1100 ccs of raw rugged man power. 
We also want to take a moment to highlight an unsung staff member here on the farm. His name is Joey, or Uncle Joey as the kids call him, and he is one of Rick's 7 adopted children. Joey has been on the farm since he was just a boy. And though he is now over 50 years old, Joey has not lost his playful nature. In fact, most days you can find him with a trail of the youngest children following him, watching over them, helping them to explore the world. Thanks for all that you do, Joey!
Joey with a few of his friends.
Uncle Joey is a kid at heart and we love him for it.

Which brings us back to Christmas. For anyone who has celebrated a Christmas with us here on the farm or even for those who have followed this newsletter through a season or two, you know what a production it is. And this year promises to be no different. In an effort to make some memories for our kids and put a little sparkle in their celebration, we'll be running around, shopping, wrapping, decorating, organizing and generally Christmasing until big day arrives.

It's a lot of work, but more than that, it's a lot of expense. So we're reaching out to our supporters world wide to get involved once again. Global Giving is our new platform of choice, and it offers tax deductibility in the USA, 0% fees on all money raised. Which means: If you give a holly berry, we'll get a holly berry. It's that simple. To make things even more jolly, there is even a bonus if we are able to raise our five thousand dollar goal with more than 40 donors. We hope you can take a look at our campaign and help us celebrate the birth of Jesus with our very excited pack of kiddies. Here are a few buttons to press and a few images of Christmases past to help you make up your mind.

Manisha encourages you to give a big gift this Christmas.
Another Christmas dinner will made possible by...YOU. (We hope.)
Parwat and Evelyn, dreaming of you pressing the button below.
Campfire songs about button pushing.
Thanks for considering our Christmas appeal.

Thanks for taking a look at our campaign and please share with anyone you think might be interested. We hope your own holiday celebrations are smooth and stressfree this year, and that this Christmas season brings a sense of peace to you and your family. As the lights twinkle and the wrapping paper shines, however you celebrate, we pray that the true meaning of Christmas inspires you with some real joy, and helps you remember times of wonder in your own life.

Blessing on you,
Rick, Clifton, Eugene, Priscilla & John

Niyati i is looking forward to her second Christmas with us!
Three princesses, Ayushi, Sareena & Malika, excited for Christmas 2018.
This one's for you, Des.
Sohalia with her dirt latte.
Copyright © 2018 The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission
The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission is a registered non-profit and society in Uttarakhand, India that undertakes the care of around 75 orphan and destitute children. The Mission works to be as self-supporting as possible through income generated internally by it's farm and school. For more information see our website.

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Strong Farm
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