Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa Doesn't Come Here.

Every year around this time newspapers inevitably publish articles dealing with the science of Santa’s travels. I read one online recently that said Santa would have to visit 1,178 homes EVERY SECOND- and that would only get him to the 132 million homes where children would expect him, a mere 15 percent of the world’s households! The article failed to take into account however, that for many children, Santa simply doesn’t come.

There are no brightly wrapped presents under a sparkling tree. There aren’t many presents, if any at all.  No Christmas dinner with food to fill everyone for days to come.  Christmas day passes with very little fanfare at all. In our village water still needs to be pumped at the community well.  Firewood gathered.  Maize pounded. Of course there will be a simple festa (party), family will come, visitors will be welcomed warmly, and the Birth of our Saviour will be celebrated and remembered, but the meal will still be simple, nothing like the ones most of us will enjoy on Christmas day.
You see, Santa doesn’t visit our village. Im pretty sure He doesn’t visit most of the villages around us. Yes, he did visit our playgroup party a few weeks ago in the city with all of us foreigners in attendance, arriving in a helicopter, with gifts for the children. But he doesn’t come to the village. Santa doesn’t come here.

But you know what?
That’s ok. Most of the kids here have no clue who he is anyway, and to be honest, many of them don’t even know that you are “supposed” to get lots of brightly wrapped gifts for Christmas. To those who attend church in our area, Christmas is  about celebrating the birth of Christ.  (imagine that!!??!!) To other’s, especially here in Mozambique where Christmas isn’t even an official holiday (we have “Family Day” instead), its simply a holiday to spend with family and friends. For the families whose parents have work, there might be a slightly bigger “do”- small presents will be exchanged, like a balloon, or a small plastic car.
For the kids in our Orphan Program we have a Christmas party- we have a special meal at a local restaurant – chicken, rice, French fries, salad and a coke! We will have music, games, and yes,- Gifts.
Earlier this year Rick and I, some colleagues and local pastors had the privilege of handing out 130 Orphan Care Packs, purchased thru our Unique Christmas Gift Campaign last Christmas. For those children, those Gifts were most likely the only gift they have ever received. Santa most definetly does NOT visit those areas. Two years ago the village that received those packs full of love had never even seen a white woman before… a large, bearded white man in a red velvet suit would have caused a riot!
 One of the Pastors Associations grows lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage and onion for the children in their orphan program.
 They water using this foot pump donated thru the Unique Christmas Gift Program.
A young pastor studying using his very own Bible.
Rick and Pastor Paulo's son with the Cattle and Oxcart they have recieved thru the Unique Christmas Gift Program. 
 Rick with one of the orphans.
Waiting to open their care packs. 
Pastor Toca was thrilled to help with the delivery!

When it comes to handing out the gifts purchased thru the Unique Christmas Gift Campaign, we always share a bit ,whether we hand out Ox-carts and cattle, water pumps,  Study Bibles, Milk for an underweight infant, or simply the small toys and clothes the Amigo orphans will receive this coming week. We will spend time explaining the real Christmas story, the most beautiful gift ever given in the history of the world, and how people way across the world in Canada and the U.S. have been sponsoring each of them, because they love them, and have accepted the free Gift offered in Bethlehem and Jerusalem so long ago.  
(God loved the World)
And because of that love, and that Gift, we have a gift for them.

So for the kids in our Amigo Orphan Program, (and the others we will deliver gifts to during the coming year) Santa will not be coming this year. Probably not next year either. He is busy enough in other parts of the planet, bringing giggles and smiles and toys all over. Its ok if he doesn’t come.

And He is more than enough.

If you would like to be a part of sharing The most AMAZING GIFT, the Gift of Christ’s Love with an orphan, a Pastor who is studying faithfully, a struggling infant or any of the other people who are helped by and ministered to thru the Unique Christmas Gift program please click here, to visit our website, see our Unique Christmas Gift Campaign brochure for this year and see where you feel called to help. Or maybe you would like to help on a more permanent basis, by sponsoring an orphan or helping to provide for our ministry needs on a monthly basis please get in touch!

Enjoy this Christmas with family and friends, enjoy the decorations, the presents, the laughter, the snow (if you get snow where you are!), and if Santa comes to your house ( he might make a pitstop at ours)- enjoy the smiles he brings, but I truly hope that the birth of the tiny baby Jesus will be remembered and celebrated in your home this festive season!

God Bless and Merry Christmas!
Love, Rick, Heather, Tendai and Ryan.

1 comment:

Gillian said...

Just dropping in to say hi and let you know you are in my prayers and thoughts!! Keep on blogging! I hope we can come help out one day soon .... it is a dream of mine!! ;)