Christmas season (1)


We experienced Christmas this year differently than usual.  We began with four parties at the university with various combinations of people—English students and department staff, International Partnerships department, department of languages (including English), and then the entire university staff and families.  Each party started with some carols, a sermon, and an offering.  After that the first three parties then included some entertainment, including games.  “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Feliz Navidad” seemed to be very popular songs.  K-Pop is also a fad among the students.  We were often given a gift as being “special” foreigners on campus.  Sally Jo won a prize in an unwrapping present contest.  At one party, groups were to sing Jingle Bells in a crazy way! The whole university party included a brief re-telling of the Christmas Story interspersed by songs from each department.  (It was one way to get everyone to come!)

The Sunday before Christmas was a special service at the Mennonite Church and included several baptisms and child dedications.  For two families the Mennonite pastor and a Catholic priest were able to conduct a child dedication/baptism jointly due to the parents being both Mennonite and Catholic.  It was a special event and made us wonder whether this has happened anywhere else.  Ron had more photos on Facebook of this service.  We actually had met the priest the previous week as a possible contact for service work for our students.

After the service, the church gave out bags of oil and rice to the neighbors (who are mostly Muslim).  They also held a “flee market” of clothes for the community.  What we didn’t take a photo of was the presence of police security.  There are sometimes threats at Christmas against Christian churches and so police offer security presence.

Season activities to be continued i next blog.

Leave a Reply