What a celebration!
Our churches made big plans for Christmas 2011. It all started Friday & Saturday nights with a "cinema" at our village church in Kitongo. The Tanzanian pastors, with the help of missionaries Bill Brouwer and Dave Helsby, showed 2 videos each night using a projector, speakers, a white sheet, and a generator. The first: a Tanzanian-made drama showing situations that Christians face these days... in Swahili. The second: the Jesus Film... in Kisukuma (their tribal language).
What an experience... to watch the Tanzanians watching the Jesus film! They cheered each time He performed a miracle. They cheered especially loud when He overloaded the fishermen's boat with fish. The village of Kitongo is right on the edge of Lake Victoria, and most of the villagers ARE fishermen. (Their boats even look like the ones used by Peter and John.) Then the audience fell silent as they watched Christ being whipped and mocked and then crucified. And then the JOY of seeing Him alive again!
There are times that I miss the American Christmas culture. IF a store in Mwanza decorates for Christmas, it doesn't happen until the week before Christmas. There's no Christmas music on the radio, no such thing as candy canes, nor is Santa sitting at the mall (seeing as we don't have a mall). Not even any snow. There's nothing that makes it "feel" like Christmas. On the other hand... simple is good. No commercialism makes it easier to keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas.
The SAVIOR is BORN! MERRY CHRISTMAS!