Tuesday, December 8, 2009

the Christmas season

Advent has begun. This year in my class, we're doing different Christmas-related activities each day and discussing the story of Jesus' birth. A few days ago, I asked my fifth and sixth graders to write down as much of the Christmas story as they knew. The results were surprising: these children of pastors and missionaries had many errors in their stories. I hope that by the time we leave for vacation on the 18th, the children will know the true story.

Meanwhile, we continue to work with the children in Huejotzingo. Abraham and I edited Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol and converted it into a reader's theater. We have started going on Saturday afternoons as well as on Sundays in order to practice two songs and the reader's theater. Last Saturday we also started making piƱatas. Although many of the kids do not read well, they are starting to learn their parts.

Last Sunday a friend of Abraham's from the seminary invited him to speak at his church. This church is brand new and meets in a home. Abraham spoke from Luke chapter 2, emphasizing how the shepherds shared the news of Jesus' birth immediately. We too have the privilege and responsibility to share the Good News.

This season in Mexico is one when the focus leaves the birth of Jesus and turns to Guadalupe. Thousands of pilgrims walk, drive, or bike to the Basilica in Mexico City to adore the virgin on Dec. 12. We've been seeing pilgrims traveling, carrying their images and pictures. Please pray that the true message of God's Gift to humanity would break through the confusion of the traditions surrounding Guadalupe.

On Sunday evening, Abraham and I set up our first Christmas tree. We found a good artificial tree at a swap meet and bought lights and bulbs to decorate. After returning from Huejotzingo, we put the tree together and strung lights. The results are lovely! This will be our first Christmas as a married couple and my first Christmas away from my parents, brother, and sisters. We will be starting new traditions together.

"God bless us, every one!"

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