We are glad you are reading and following along as we share how God is using Fox River in both Nicaragua and Kenya!
Today some of our partners will share with us how they celebrate Christmas in their communities. We all celebrate in different ways, but the one thing that we all have in common is the reason to why we celebrate! We love how multi-cultural our God is and that we get to share in His ministry in both Kenya and Nicaragua!
Nicaragua - Pastor Denis and Jorvin
Pastor Denis shares about how they celebrate in their community…
“lo que nosotros hacemos en navidad en la iglesia es una cena navideña, cada miembro de la iglesia aporta una cantidad de dinero para comprar los ingredientes de la cena, los niños de la iglesia hacen un coro navideño y como podemos decoramos la iglesia.en la casa de nosotros la noche del 31 de diciembre hacemos una cena con los muchachos lideres de la iglesia,y pasamos hasta la medianoche con ellos porque ellos no tienen otra distraccion ellos son felices pasar ese dia con nosotros,en las nuves lo que haremos este año es llevar unos regalos pequeños para ellos y un coro que los niños de la esmeralda llevaran.”
—“ What we do for Christmas at the church is we have a Christmas dinner. Each member gives a certain amount of money so that we can buy the ingredients of the meal. The children of the church have a Christmas choir. And we also try to decorate the church. On the 31 of December we have all the church leaders come to my house and we spend the evening with them until midnight. We do this because they don’t have anything else to do and enjoy hanging out with us. This year in the community of Las Nubes, we will be taking small gifts to the children and our children choir will sing for them.”—
Jorvin shares about the impact Christmas has for him…
“ES LO QUE ACA ASEMOS PONEMOS UN ARBOL DENTRO DE LA IGLESIA Y LUSES AUQUE NO MUCHAS PERO SEW HACE ALGO PARA RECORDAR EL GRAN REGALO QUE DIOS NOS ENVIO A SU HIJO CRISTO PARA ALUMBRAR AL MUNDO Y QUE PODAMOS QUIARNOS POR MEDIO DE ESA LUS QUE ALUMBRA EN LA TINIEBLA”
—“Here we put a Christmas tree up with a few lights inside the church, it is not much but it helps us remember the greatest gift when God sent his son Jesus Christ. He is the light of this world and we can share that light. Because of this light we celebrate by singing and sharing a Christmas meal together.”—
Most people don't have trees or exchange gifts. If they do get a small gift for someone they just give it to them during the month of December sometime and not necessarily on Christmas day. They save up all year and try to buy something new to wear on Christmas. In Nicaragua people typically celebrate on the 24th at midnight.
Kenya - Jenna Horgan
What is important to know is that Kenya in itself is very diversified. What you see in the village is not quite what you would see in town. In fact, in town you might find a home that is celebrating Christmas that looks very similar to what you would find in the US. A tree, presents under it, decorations out and about, the works… but what I will describe is what a Christmas looks like for the children out in the villages and the children that you sponsor!
In Kenya, at Christmas, it’s all about the food….. Keep in mind that it is usually around 100 degrees or hotter with high humidity. While the USA has winter we are enjoying summer. It certainly feels different. While it is hard for this westerner to get in the Christmas spirit, for Kenyans, it is the norm. Back to the food. A family might save up a buy a goat to be slaughtered. Every part of this goat is used. And the mamas in the village will take time preparing it very specially to make a stew to put over rice where MANY people can enjoy. Another dish one might make is Pilau (which is like spiced rice with chunks of meat and potatoes in it). Or even Biryiani (which is rice that is speckled with orange food dye, and then a curry type tomato based stew with meat in it. This takes HOURS and is worth every minute). Then you’ll buy sodas for 30 shillings each (about 30 cents) and this is a big treat! Every child in the house will get one.
The grandparents may also buy you a brand new outfit that is hung on the wall and not to be worn until Christmas day. There are not toys typically given (that would be very, very rare) but rather new clothes or new black shoes for the upcoming school year. They might even decorate their house with balloons or banners!
Families will attend church and spend a lot of time worshiping God in song!
That’s a Kenyan Christmas!
How real and awesome it is to learn how people from across the globe celebrate Christmas!
Thanks for reading and spending time thinking about our Missions in both Kenya and Nicaragua. Join us in praying for them today?