So, it is that time of year again and we have been busy with the Samaritan's Purse Christmas packages: handing out over 8000 of them this year to various schools, at the children's home, to other organisations and to the people in our projects: Here are some of the kids from our Dorcas project when they received theirs on "my" Christmas eve:
Today, we organised one big distribution for the Fida sponsorship project. Although there are "only"52 kids in the project, with brothers and sisters there are over 160 kids who are given through this project. So, we asked the local school if we could use their hall and they were gracious and opened it for us on a Saturday! So instead of having to do it at least 5-6 times at our premises, we managed to get it done in one go: but it did make for a busy day! Here are all the packages ready for handing out: (thanks to Tanja, Boki and Seka for helping me arrange them so beautifully :-)
Here are all the children and adults waiting for the show to begin:
Lea, my Finnish colleague, was translated (very ably) by Ljilja and did her "magic bag" Christmas story which worked really well...
Before the people were let into the hall, the pictures of the characters from the Christmas story were put under some of the chairs. So if it was under your chair you had to bring it up: here is Lea going through the Christmas story using each of the pictures to guide her:
In the end she places all the "characters" into the bag with some string and shakes them up and then they all "magically" come out in order on the string... some of the adults are still wondering how it is done, let alone the children :-)Ljilja not only translated, but did a great job of MCing the whole event and handing out all the packages: she is amazing as she not only knows all the kids, but also how many brothers and sisters they have and what ages they are!! Here are all the kids with their packages:
And now for the most part we have finished with distribution and all our backs and arms are grateful. But despite the amount of work it all entails, it really is great to be able to be on the giving end of these great packages! And to bring a little joy into the lives of these children through the giving of "gifts" which represent the greatest gift of all... who came at CHRISTmas!