Celebration #1 - Besan village
|The men 'sauteing' the spices|
It is hardly a Balinese Hindu tradition to celebrate Christmas, but my brother and fellow worker Kadek has a different idea for his community in the village where he lives, Besan. I first need to say that Christians are not particularly welcome in his village, in fact Kadek has been told not to bring any more Christians to live at his family compound. So what he does to celebrate Christmas in his village is quite ingenious. He follows Balinese tradition for major celebrations, but in the name of Christmas.
So the Hindu men are invited to Kadeks compound where they cut up and mince freshly killed pig and chickens. They also cut up vegetables and spices and prepare Balinese sate made from these ingredients and then cook the sate and the pig skin.
|Darmawan cooks sate with the men|
|Sate's and smoke from the hot coals!|
Meanwhile the women in Kadek's compound prepare the vegetable dishes and cook the rice. They then make up about 350 food parcels consisting of 7 sate's, vegetables and rice. All of this started at about 6pm and finished after midnight.
While all this is happening Kadek is playing the 'Jesus Video' (in Balinese) through a projector. It was difficult to tell whether the men took much notice amongst the cacophony of chopping and chatting, but Kadek assured me some of the men were talking about the video and he expected at least four of them would come to him surreptitiously at some later date and talk about what they had seen.
The next morning at 5am the women distributed the 350 food parcels to all the homes in the village as a sign of Christmas goodwill.
Celebration #2 - Songan
The Christian women in Kadek's family compound wanted to bless Darsini, as they had heard about her situation. So they prepared the food and then we loaded all the ladies, the Children's home kids including Darsini's two, and the food, and headed off for Songan. Unfortunately when we arrived there was no sign of Darsini or her husband Pak Repin, and the place looked deserted. We finally found out that Repin had been sick and had moved back to his old place and of course Darsini with him. Finally we tracked them down and were able to share the meal with them.
Unfortunately it rained which also bought the flies out in plague proportions. Additionally it all became a bit much for Darsini and she was quite upset. However the intentions were all good and while it didn't quite pan out the way we expected we have the hope of a better future for Darsini and her family. That is our Christmas wish and prayer.
Celebration #3 - Christmas day in Jail!
Up early and off to Kerobokan prison as we prepare to join in the Christmas celebrations with the inmates and guests. The prisoners went to extraordinary lengths to put on a great day. The worship leader, singers and musicians did a fantastic job and people who had never experienced Christmas inside the jail before came away utterly astounded, and I think, impacted as well.
We really enjoyed our time there and it was again wonderful to see Virginia and her little flock of girls having so much fun and sharing the love they have for one another.
|Virgy and her Thai girls|
|Mummy Virginia and family|
|The African contingent|
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given
And the government will be upon His shoulders
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end,
A Blessed Christmas to everyone.... Jeff & Virginia