Over 7,000 miles away from where the Hui people reside, a small group of ladies wanted to take part in sharing the Good News with this unreached people group. Meanwhile, our team was anticipating a busy Christmas season, full of festive parties and opportunities to share the Good News with big groups of people. These ladies got together and utilized their gifts of sewing and creativity to play their part in this endeavor. They formed ideas, cut patterns, and worked at their sewing machines to create costumes that represented each person of the Christmas story. From Mary’s simple tunic to the Wise Men’s bejeweled crowns, each costume was carefully made with hopes that they would serve our team well by helping us share the Christmas story. The costumes were packed away in a suitcase and traveled halfway around the world where they would soon be a part of communicating the real meaning of Christmas in a Hui community.
Christmas day approached and our team’s schedule was packed with Christmas parties. Cookies were made, candy cane story party favors were prepared, and language study was stepped up a notch, in hopes that the story would be able to be clearly communicated in our second language. We planned to sing Christmas carols, play games, and have people at the party dress up and act out the Christmas story while we told it. We were excited to see how the parties would go, and especially looked forward to celebrating with the kiddos in our community, wondering how the “Christmas plays” would go. (As a side note, the culture here is all about performances. Karaoke is crazy popular and schools and workplaces often put on performances for special events. Performances are enjoyed and most people are pretty comfortable to participate.)
The Christmas parties ended up being a great success, a joy to host, and really fun! Kids across our community dressed the part and acted out the story of Jesus’s birth as they heard it told, many for the first time. Over the course of a week Mary rolled to Bethlehem in a wheelchair, giggled in front of her pre-school peers, and shyly stood in front of her high school’s English class. At one point, Joseph was a distracted (but absolutely adorable) four-year old and all of the angels were impressed, and proud of their glittery wings. The baby Jesus went from being a small baby doll to a six-foot tall high-school student, who was great at impromptu crying. The actors of the Nativity scene looked different, but the story shared was the same. Jesus, the Messiah, had come into the world, as a humble baby, to save those who witnessed this great event, those who would be acting it out hundreds of years later, and anyone else in between who has faith to receive this Good News.
When you hear the Christmas story told this season, when you see it recounted in a play or live Nativity, and while you sing its truths through hymns and carols, I hope that the magnitude of this story penetrates your heart and that you will be awestruck by the Father’s great love for the people He created. That He would send His Son to live among us and ultimately die for us, is precious evidence of His loving kindness. I hope that the story of Jesus’s coming will lead you to worship the One True God and to pray that He will be worshipped as He ought around the world, especially among the Hui. I hope that, just as the shepherds beheld the miracle of Jesus’s coming into the world and then went out to tell the others around them, that you will do the same.
This Christmas season, as story of Jesus’s birth falls upon your ears once again, I urge you to be reminded of those who have never had the opportunity to hear it. Pray for workers around the world who are using this time as an opportunity to host events, show hospitality, and proclaim the Gospel. Ask that the Father would show you ways in which you can use your resources, time, and skills to be a part of proclaiming the Good News that the Christmas story holds. Ultimately, pray that the Spirit would be at work changing the hearts of those who hear and giving them faith to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus.