Towards the end of November, we had a special Christmas celebration before the girls left school, Hamamas Krismas means Merry Christmas in Pidgin. So we had our Hamamas Krismas celebration with student singing carols, performing dances and biblical skits about the birth of Jesus. We ended the school year on November 29th with class parties and all the excitement that the end of school year usually holds.
We, teachers, administration, and staff, worked one more week and ended our work on December 6th. During that week, we went to the Liamo Resort and spend some relaxing time and a meal to close out our 2019 school year. We exchanged gifts with our Secret Santa and received a gift from the Sisters.
Christmas in PNG is celebrated mostly in the churches and not so much in homes. The tradition of decorating homes with lights, decorating a tree, wrapping and exchanging cards and gifts is practically non-existent here in PNG. Most families will celebrate Christmas by going to church and then enjoying a special meal with family. Gift exchanging is not common in PNG. This made for a bit of a melancholy December for me as I recalled traditions and customs of the season back home. I was able to enjoy viewing Hallmark Christmas movies that satiated my desire to listen to Christmas music and see decorations.
The decorations at the vigil Mass were basically those we would use for a birthday party. As I sat waiting for the vigil Mass to begin, I contemplated the altar decorations I felt these were more like baby shower decorations. Then it struck me that it did make sense to use the color blue to decorate because a baby boy was born to Mary.
I wish each of you a blessed New Year 2020. May God grant you good health, happiness and peace. Thank you for all your prayerful and monetary support that makes it possible for me to be here serving the wonderful people of PNG!
…and so, my mission journey continues….Jesus, in You I trust.