No, I have not flown to Kenya for Christmas (although that sure would be a special way to spend it). I just finished reading a post on the Made In The Streets blog and had to share it. I know that Darlene (who wrote it) would not mind and would hope that you would visit the blog and read more about their work. This is where David and I lived and who we worked with for 6 months five year ago. I hope you gain as much insight as I did after reading this about the true meaning of the Christmas season.
From the Made In The Streets blog by Darlene Coulston.
"It's December and I love giving parties. So on Friend Sunday, I asked Mbuvi to announce that all the church ladies were invited to our house Thursday at 4 for a Christmas Tea. OK, that was today. First, I was at the school, and Moses came to tell me there were women at the gate for me... for a tea party. In Swahili, hour 4 is our 10 am whereas our 4 pm is hour 10 -- confused? They were too. So I go home, make two big cakes, cut them into 15 pieces, and then, the rain started. Only if you've been here in Kenya during a rain will you appreciate how hard it is to walk in our particular kind of mud. I thought, "Oh, no. There won't be anyone for tea! Well, maybe 5 or 6." It continued to rain -- a lovely sound on our tin roof, and we really do need the rain. But my party..... Around 3 pm, I started making chai. I arranged chairs, etc. and I was ready, but not expecting many.
Well, by 4 pm, there were 33! I was thrilled! We prayed, and started the cake around. Then 5 more came. And another group, and another, and the rain keeps coming, and another 5. There are muddy shoes everywhere, I'm bringing out a pkg of cookies, making more chai, finding cups and chairs, and I stop counting after 50 women are in my house. I had no more milk or tea leaves for chai, no more food to offer, no more things we could sit on (Maureen even went home and brought all her chairs!) . And we were having fun!
One thing we did was share Christmas memories (around the small group of 50). As I listened to the women, they talked of sharing good food, special food like chapati and mandazi, and being with family and friends, and of going to church on Christmas eve. Not one mention of presents or busy schedules. I feel sorry for all of us with money -- we've been robbed.... in a very real way. There are certain advantages to poverty. We read Mt 2; Jesus' family sounds a lot like their economic situation -- and angels came for them.
Well, my guests left. The oldest woman, who had been a guest on Friend Sunday, gave me a hand woven basket; and I gave her a bag of our tomatoes and we were happy. We all sang "We wish you a merry christmas" I wish that for you all too!"