MARYVILLE, Mo. — Under the Son Ministries has announced the date and some new safety precautions for its fourth annual Christmas Homes Tour.
Set to be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, the tour will see four families open the doors to their holiday-themed, fully decorated homes.
Steve and Donella Sherry, with the ministry said a few changes had to be made this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each person on the tour will be required to wear a mask and asked to social distance as much as possible.
Donella said in the first home tourists visit will provide bagged booties, to slide over their shoes. This year, they will only receive one pair that they take with them to each home.
The homes on the tour include the following: Paul and Cindy Kessler - 623 W. Third St.; JR and Sarah Kurz - 25464 Sycamore Lane; Josh and Kim Lefeber - 810 S. Dunn St.; Jacob Vollstedt and Victoria Hollar - 514 S. Buchanan St.
Donella said they still plan to hold a scavenger hunt and provide door prizes involving each home on the tour.
Tickets are on sale now for $20. They may be purchased from homeowners on the tour or at the following businesses: Blue Willow Boutique, Ferluknat Farm, La Chic, Maryville Florists, Minnie Lane or The Kitchen & Bath Source.
All proceeds from the tour will be used for educational expenses of children at Gethsemane Home in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
While expenses have only increased because other costs have been added to each student’s schooling, the Sherrys still plan to pay for student expenses. Donella said never before have they had to pay for the lunches of high school students, but are now being asked to this year as well as a few other small costs per child.
The ministry also plans to fundraise in other ways such as selling items from Thailand at the craft fair set for Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Maryville Community Center and the Shop Hop set for Saturday, Dec. 5.
Steve and Donella have traveled to Thailand off and on for nearly 10 years now with Under the Son Ministries and have been working with local Christians there to spread the word and help students.
This year has been very different though with the COVID-19 pandemic and local restrictions.
“We just can’t get there right now,” said Donella. “Thailand’s really shut down to international travel.”
After trying to travel there in March and July, the couple found it too difficult. The couple would have had to fly directly into Bangkok which is about 13 hours driving from Chiang Mai. They would have been required to quarantine for 14 days in what Donella said were “very nice hotels” that they would have to pay for. The two also would have had to purchase Thai insurance coverage.
“It’s just not feasible for the ministry,” she said. But, the airlines have been really good about refunding their ticket costs.
For more information visit the nonprofit’s Facebook page at bit.ly/UndertheSonMinistries.