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  • Writer's pictureSean Foley

Merry Christmas - Singapore Style!

Over 30 years ago we wrote our first Christmas letter to mail to family and friends. Here's a cute example from 2002. This year for the first time we won't be mailing a special Christmas letter, but hopefully this blog can take its place.


Christmas: So different! The Christmas letter is just the tip of the iceberg of differences. Our Christmas Eve church service was a testimony meeting with dozens of Singapore Young Single Adults, followed by a KFC-catered "linger-longer". It was so sweet to meet so many and get to know them better. After church we took the bus home to get an above-ground perspective of our daily commute. That evening the two of us had our own Instapot Christmas Eve. Along with chocolate chip cookies, it was a delicious first attempt at doing some real cooking in our apartment. We then started Christmas Day with an early morning swim before spending several hours with the 25 amazing Singapore young missionaries. Becaues there were too many for our apartment we hosted them in the church building for munching, activities, the Christmas story, gift exchange, and a wonderful Christmas (and missionary) movie: Klaus!


The missionaries here are truly exceptional. This group comes from three countries, and several US states. They speak a variety of languages, both natively and learned for their mission. They choose on their own to serve, though not where or with whom, and they and their families pay their way. Of course they have challenges (or else Sister Foley wouldn't be here!) but I am so impressed at how mature they are for their age, and how well they do.


It was very strange this year not having a Christmas tree or decorations, giving just the simplest of gifts for each other and our family, and missing out on some other long-held traditions of our family. But it was still a very special and sweet time together.


Christmas: So much the same! We were very blessed to continue some of the most important traditions. We had wonderful video calls to connect with all our family, separately and as a group. These calls brought us a lot of joy as we felt of their love and support from across the world. It was especially fun watching our grandchilden open their gifts, even the sick one (who is fortunately now doing better!) The two of us also focused a lot on the 'reason for the seaon', our Savior Jesus Christ. We loved watching various versions of the Nativity Story and reading the entire book of Luke in the New Testament. I know He lives!


24x7 On Call. For almost our entire marriage I have carried a cell phone and been on call around the clock. Whether supporting word processors, writing tools, fault-tolerant computing systems, IP telephony systems, or the payment processing systems of the United States, I have received thousands of urgent calls, texts, and emails out of "normal business hours". I have both personally fixed systems and overseen repair and recovery efforts from the beach, mountains, mall parking lot, Nebraska freeway, and too many other places to count. These days however there's a new on-call Foley!


Just like technology, mental health challenges do not follow a 9 to 5 calendar or take time off. Vivian has really stepped up in working with missionaries and mission leaders when they need her. I am so proud of the work that she's doing and grateful for the chance to support her in it.


And the work is busy! As of this writing Vivian has held 20 hours of counseling sessions with missionaries from three missions. She has counseled with them on a wide range of issues, from commonplace to serious. Additionally she has participated in six mission health councils, and consulted privately with many mission leaders, medical health advisors, and consulting psychiatrists. Things will continue to get busier in January, but we are both excited that we are very soon scheduled to start doing more teaching and training. Another thing that is similar with Information Technology is that it's always preferable to prevent problems before they get serious.


Pictures. They say that a picture is worth 1000 words. So in the interest of saving you from reading many thousands of words, enjoy a few pictures of our time so far. Have a truly wonderful start to 2024 - we love you from Singapore!






  1. Grandchildren enjoying their Chrstmas

  2. Grandchildren enjoying their Christmas

  3. Grandchildren enjoying their Christmas

  4. Grandchildren enjoying their Christmas

  5. Another neighborhood concert by our Christmas choir

  6. The mighty Young Single Adult members of Singapore

  7. The mighty missionares of the Singapore Zone

  8. Can you spot Vivian in this Garden on an urgent phone call in this Garden by the Bay shot

  9. OK then here's a closeup

  10. Jesus watching over us keeping our time zones straight

  11. Obligatory selfie

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9 Comments


kathyduffin
Jan 09

A very different Christmas for sure! I love that you got to watch the kids open presents. That’s fun!

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janice foley
janice foley
Dec 27, 2023

It's always fun spending Christmas with missionaries. I am sure Sean remembers going to Aqua Prieta to share Christmas with the missionaries there. It's one of my favorite missionary memories. I loved the 2002 letter, I sure remember those days, can it really be over 20 years ago? Love you two and I am so proud of the work you are doing.

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Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Dec 27, 2023
Replying to

I remember Agua Prieta very well and definitely thought of it. We live you guys so much and loved sharing part of our Christmas by video. ❤️❤️❤️

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krzybee
Dec 27, 2023

Merry Christmas! Loved the flashback Christmas letter. They were so little. I love reading about your time there. We love you!

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Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Dec 27, 2023
Replying to

Thanks so much! Yes it is amazing how they have all grown. We love you guys!

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Rebecca Morgan
Rebecca Morgan
Dec 27, 2023

Merry Christmas you two!

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Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Dec 27, 2023
Replying to

Thank you! And thank for taking care of our lovely shared family, especially while we are gone! ❤️

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stradab
Dec 27, 2023

It is great to read about the wonderful work you are doing as well as your adventures along the way.

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Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Dec 27, 2023
Replying to

Thank you Brosie! It was so fun seeing you in the airport at the start of what turned out to be our 36 hour journey! Hopefully yours was better 😀. Happy New Year to you and your family!

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