We spent our second Christmas in the village this last year. Prior to Christmas though, Houghton and Philip went around the language group to distribute Christmas story books to all the villages. We pulled out 3 stories from the Children's Bible to do this, added illustrations, put in some comprehension/study questions and a dictionary, and had something to give everyone!
The day they were distributing worked out to be perfect because people were around in the villages preparing activities for Christmas day, and were free and interested in reading through the booklets together as a group and giving feedback on them.
|Philip reading "Iyesu mo Hoter - Jesus is born"|
This is really our first distribution of anything in the local language (other than an alphabet book) so it was great for awareness of what the Translation Team is up to. Also, everyone was very excited to see their language written and of course how exciting it would be to see God can tell His story in your mother tongue, not just foreign languages you have to learn in school!
In our village, Houghton was asked to lead part of the Christmas Eve service, so he used the booklet for that too. Please pray that God continues to use these small portions from the Children's Bible to teach people about Him and give people a good understanding of who He is and how we can have a relationship with Him.
Christmas day was another community affair. Christmas Eve unfortunately had some disturbances from home brew drinkers that prevented a prayer group and fellowship time from going ahead, but it wasn't too unexpected. Christmas day they kept their distance from the village, so we had a nice time with all the families.
|tug of war competition|
Lots of the youth and kids had prepared what they call "skits" but are in actuality songs played and participants have actions and choreography to accompany them. Jesiah, Gwen, and Addy spent many long hours in the weeks before Christmas practicing with all their friends, and enjoyed showing off their skills to the village. You may be able to make out Lili, in the red dress pouring (baby/talcum) powder on all the kids as they danced. This is pretty common to do for performers here and at other events, like weddings.
|some of the adults performing|
We ate all our meals together as a village, and enjoyed the off day to just hang out.
|sporting my new Vanuatu flag necklace from Si!|