Christmas is a great opportunity to give and to reach out to the community.
Here are photos from two events in the lead up to Christmas. The first was an event for handicapped kids. It began with a little play from the group of university students that I'm now getting to know better. It told the story of a girl who didn't want a present from Santa. She's dragged by the ear by her grandma to Santa who cannot believe that a girl doesn't want a present. The girl explains that Santa's gifts are fine but she has already been given a gift that is amazingly precious, will never break, will never get lost and will not just bring joy for a couple a couple of days but for all time. Santa (and the kids) press her to reveal this gift which she finally shares is her Lord Jesus.
We all celebrated with hot chocolate and paneton. Paneton is a light fruit cake which is yummy and traditional at Christmas. Each of the kids then received gifts - thanks to the generosity of the church.
The parents of handicapped kids have a hard life - even from just the physical point of view. Very few can afford a car and many cannot even afford a wheelchair. Without wheelchairs many of these kids spend most of the life inside their homes. Our pastor is a coordinator with the charity Joni and friends and slowly more people are getting access to wheelchairs and support. He sees this very much as a mission to an often unreached part of our community.
The following day we visited "El Mirador" which is a new neighbourhood a bit of a distance out of town. It lived up to its name which means "The View".
Here we had a similar events with lots of kids. Here we are again enjoying hot chocolate and paneton.
The crowd really engaged with the Christmas play.
- thank God for Christians who are passionate about reaching their community
- that we can work towards addressing some of the huge needs we see
- that those who have heard the message will experience God's amazingly precious gift