Christmas in Mwitikira

Last year we asked Father Erasto to tell us what Christmas is like in Mwitikira. This is his reply, along with photos of their Christmas Tree. Article has been edited slightly for clarity.

We ask your prayers for our distant friends. This is also the start of their rainy season. Please pray for good rains.

“Christmas in Mwitikira is a very great day; it begins in November when the special trees known as Christmas trees starts to have flowers, (see the picture). It is a big celebration for all Christians and non-Christians. In all Advent time, which takes about 4-5 weeks, the Christians use that time to visit home to home, to preach, remind, to decorate their homes with these flowers and invite people to Church and be ready for events. We usually use the words from Matthew 3:1-12. The Choirs compose lovely songs and chorus, and sing the whole Advent time.

At the Christmas day in the Church, there are a lot of events… many families want to baptize their kids, so always there are more than 20 kids baptized each Christmas. This is the day which many people come to the Church, even those who are not likely to come for the regular services, so usually the church is so full. Songs, poems, and a lot of dancing happen in the Church. Also, we take time to read the Bible about the story of Jesus’ birth, and preach how it relates to our salvation.

At the family level (homes) the big meal is prepared for the family to enjoy and celebrate together. The parents go to town and to the market to buy new clothes for them and their kids and so on, so usually this is the day when 80% come to the church with new clothes and eat rice and pilau when they go back home.

It is a really hard day for orphans and homeless people. To solve that problem, the church in the past prepared a meal for all Christians to eat together after the service, but nowadays the church has many members which is costing a lot of money to feed all its members. We are encouraging people to invite these kids and homeless people as the way people will receive the blessing from God.

So, Christmas here is a big and very important event to all people. It is celebrated by worshiping, meals, new clothes, decorations, dancing, baptism and doing good things, to help those who are in need and pray for those who are suffering for different reasons.”