Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox packages

After spending two months preparing hard with my teenage and child actors, we put them to work in December to do our plays and then give our shoebox packages. Here we are after the first distribution: The actors are in front without packages :)
This year instead of one long play, we had 3 little plays with 9 actors in total. We had one presenter who announced each of the plays and one was offstage in this play - playing the angel that appears to the these two shepherds:
 Then we had two mice talking about the true meaning of Christmas:
Both of these were actually poems that I found online and adapted. The last was a play I wrote and when I wrote it, I actually had my teenage actors in mind! It was a conversation between them (and at the end it turns out they were waiting for a bus as they run off the stage!)  about Christmas and Jesus' birthday. I included interesting facts like Christmas is in summer in South Africa and Australia :) It worked really well and I am proud of my actors:

I did manage to take a video of the plays, and I need to mention that the shepherds and the mice were interchangeable (we were supposed to have two groups, but in the end it didn't work out, but they had learnt both parts so we mixed and matched) and the video is actually the other way round from the pictures: (and if you click on CC you will get English subtitles!)

After the plays, Ljilja did a great job of getting the children to understand what they were all about :)
Afterwards it was time to give out the packages: We had various sizes of groups as we did performances for different organisations, but it was fun every time!
And a lot of variety of children: this group was for autistic and children/adults with special needs.
We also did some presentations in schools: First grade, sooooo sweet:
And for many of the groups, we also organised beautiful Children's Bibles: 
I love how proud he is of his Bible:
After the plays there was also a chance to interact with the actors. And yes, the mice were the most popular!!

A fun thing that happened is that I was chatting with my sister (who lives in England) and she told me that she had actually organised for her company to put together shoebox packages. Although we don't know if those packages are the ones we are given out here, it is a possibility as our packages come from England! I offered to do some thank-you pictures for her to show to those that collected, and here they are below: 
I think it was fun that we could do that and I know her company appreciated it!
She also wanted some package opening pictures, and so I made this video in one of the schools:

Also, the actors were able to go and help out our friends in Prijedor do a show there where they had about 200 children in the audience. And it went well! Also, we will still do one more show in January for the children at the Children's Home... And even though it has been hard work, seeing the smiles on the children's faces makes it all worthwhile!

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