Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in Calaba Town...

Last week Sunday Luzanne, Vez & I spent the afternoon with children in an orphanage in Calaba Town- on the other side of Freetown. Vez has a physio patient at the orphanage and thought it would be great to have a Christmas party there. So, in the evenings before going, we spent some time sorting through clothes, toys, etc. to get the gift bags ready. Fortunately we had names and ages of the children so that made it a bit easier!

After church on Sunday we piled into the landrover and headed off to Calaba Town on the mountain road. We got there a little early- no problem. We were welcomed by the children and all sat in a smallish room together, the children with big smiles on their faces. While waiting for the director, we decided to start coloring. The kids loved it. And this was just the beginning. A little while later we all went outside for games. From old to young, big to small, they all joined in and had a fantastic time. They played the egg and spoon race, sack race, orange between the elbows, passing a ball alternating over the head/in between the legs. Great fun! Lots of laughing. A little bit of struggling for the younger ones, but lots of help from the older ones.

After a little bit of time to rest and catch their breath all of the children came back inside. They all listened carefully as Vez explained why we had come, and what Christmas means to us- God sending His son, for us. And because of the gift He gave us, we wanted to give them gifts too. The children glowed as we called them up one by one for their very own Christmas gift. A black plastic bag with red or green ribbon around it- they held onto them as if they were treasures. As each child received their gift they thanked us numerous times and their smiles only got bigger as they opened their gifts - a shirt, pencils, pen, sharpener, eraser, candies.

After the gifts they were served extremely large plates of food! How they manage to eat such large amounts I don’t know- but I suppose they eat twice a day, so that must have something to do with it. Once the sodas were handed out we started watching Ice Age 2 – which probably didn’t make much sense to them, but made them laugh anyway. The older ones liked the movie the most while the younger ones spent the entire time wrapping and unwrapping their gifts over and over again- thoroughly looking at the contents of the bag each time- as if they had never opened it before. So cute!

It was a wonderful way to share Christmas with the children. This is what Christmas is about. Sharing God’s gift with those around us. And sharing what He has give us with others.

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~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~