Hold the tears and the laughter, but mostly let your heart be overwhelmed by the Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
As we walked into the large meeting room, all the students were sitting very quietly in a row on wooden benches with their hands folded. You could feel the anticipation of each child waiting to see the magic of the “Christmas Carol”. Martin Nduiti walked quietly to the front where the empty manger was waiting. He read from Luke 2 the story of the first Christmas.
Then all eyes went to the little side door as the three little sheep came crawling in baaing dressed in rice sacks. Behind the sheep came the 3 shepherds. Mary and Joseph entered holding baby Jesus and sat in front of the little manger. Then following Mary and Joseph were three angels waving their beautiful wings made of muslin. Finally, the 3 wise men marched in with small woven baskets laden with “gifts” for the baby.
The students clapped and sang “Go Tell it on the Mountain That Jesus Christ was Born”. Then as quickly as the beautiful nativity marched into the room, they proceeded to leave with the little sheep continuing to baa behind them. All children then sang “Joy to the World”
Teacher Anne and Wei carried in the 3 kilo “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake to celebrate Jesus birthday and all the children that have birthdays in November and December. That included Lorraine whose birthday is Nov. 22. All the birthday children surrounded Lorraine, and everyone sang Happy Birthday. You can’t have a better birthday than that.
Arlene and Lorraine cut the cake to be shared by all the children. Nick and Taylor passed out pieces of cake to every child and they were so excited to have cake AGAIN. The icing is the best part for the kids.
Then came all the picture taking. Pictures of the teachers, pictures of teachers and team members, pictures of sponsors with their kids, pictures of the kids mugging, pictures of kids rubbing heads, pictures of people taking pictures and just pictures of the cutest kids ever.
Seeing this pageant in a little school room in the middle of slum made the story of Christmas come alive. Mary and Joseph trying to find a place to stay to give birth to Jesus, the Savior of the World – the Savior of these little ones in Huruma. The angels that appeared to the poor and rejected shepherds to announce the birth of a baby made us contemplate the birth of Jesus in a new and more meaningful way.
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11