Monday, December 24, 2007

Fourth Sunday in Advent

The Anglican Cycle of Prayer focused on the annunciation story today, although The Episcopal Church lectionary focused on Joseph. Nan's meditation at St. Philip's was a blessing. She did not soft-peddle the story of a young woman's acceptance of an angel's news. "Mary's 'Yes' was not the end of a sweet sentimental story. Nor was it the beginning of an easy life, just because she said 'Yes' to God... Neither is it an easy life for us if we say 'Yes' to God," Nan continued. "But the same passage reminds us that 'All things are possible with God.'" Amen.

We lunched together, then attended the CCC Kids' Club Christmas party which began at 2 PM. It was initially billed as an overnight celebration, and we were encouraged to stay. Although "all things are possible..." at least some of us were relieved to learn that plans had changed and that the party would be over by 9 PM, a/k/a Missionary Midnight. It was also a relief to see Goodrick at the gathering. He still has two black eyes, but he is recovering from last week's assault.

Together We Make A Difference was the theme of the evening, and 200 children provided a lot of togetherness! First, a goat was slaughtered (yes, we all watched) and charcoal-roasted in a pit for the special occasion. The nyama choma was delicious. Then a teenage DJ played American Christmas carols on an old boombox while a lively Lordy distributed a toy to each child. Next a "street theatre" troupe from Kisumu presented an AIDS/HIV-prevention skit. Even in Swahili, it seemed pretty sexually graphic for an audience of young children. But life and death are graphic, and these kids know more about both, unfortunately, than most adults in the States. Later, Lori and Don brightened up the afternoon by teaching everyone the hokey-pokey. And later still, "Golden Diana," a 10-year-old with an amazing voice and presence performed for us; she is clearly a Caller in the making! Small faces were wreathed in big smiles for seven full hours, as were our own. Children bring holidays to life.

... And that reminds me: Happy Birthday Season, Huck and Kas!

Have fun celebrating with the children in your beloved families!


Muriel in Nicaragua said...

Dear Dianne,
I send you a big hug and hope your Christmas is a memorable one. Your blog is so interesting and I find so many similarites between third world countries. Poor education and poor medical care seems to be a common thread. I think that is the way corrupt governments try to oppress the people. So we do what we can do: Nosotros hacemos lo que podemos! We touch and try to heal with love when we have no medicines, and always always we pray. God's love is infinite, obviously so, because we, his children, have tried his patience so. Keep the faith, and know I am thinking of you.
Muriel Laverty in Nicaragua

Anonymous said...

Dear Dianne, Joyeux Noel,wherever you are...I am trying to imagine what's going on in your heart after this extraordinary adventure, after leaving behind so many beautiful people who are dancing love in your heart; also the tears of having opened your hands so givingly and now that deep flow of instant love is searching where to go... and so we are all praying for you, welcoming you under the banner of the starry night at this time when our Savior came to us. Peace Francoise.