Why Nothing Will Stop Us Celebrating Christ’s Birth

Give children a Christmas like never before as they prepare to celebrate differently this year.

Compassion Christmas in Togo

We all face a Christmas like never before this year. Like us, children around the world are preparing for Christmas under restrictions. Perhaps their parents have lost income or they are unable to meet their loved ones.

But although 2020’s been the year that everything changed, its important to remember that nothing has changed. Jesus’ Christmas message of hope and joy means as much to children in poverty today as ever. As Sidney Muisyo, Compassion’s Head of Global Programme explains in the update below, your sponsored child would love you to encourage them this Christmas by writing a Christmas greeting and donating to our Christmas Appeal. 

Discover how your kind Christmas gifts are helping children to keep the excitement of Christmas alive in their communities this year.

Making Christmas special for children and parents in Nicaragua

“Despite the distance, we are going to make our children feel special this Christmas,” says Lixi Garcia, Centre Director of a Compassion project in Nicaragua.

preparing for Christmas in Nicaragua

Compassion project staff are already busy making Christmas preparations. 

Like so many of us, Lixi is making different plans for Christmas this year. Her team are working hard to decorate their church and two classrooms so they can hold a socially distanced celebration for children and parents.

Each family will receive Christmas gifts for the children and a special food package for the family.

“We want parents to feel special too, and not many of them will have a chance to have a Christmas dinner with their children, so it’s a pleasure for us to give them the opportunity to make something that will make their kids smile as well,” says Lixi.

The celebrations will mean the world to families like Martha’s, who have depended on the project’s support during this difficult year.

“We may not be able to hug, but we can still celebrate together, and thank the Lord for all the wonderful ways in which he has provided for us,” says Martha.

Lixi and the team supported Martha and her two children, Rebecca and Cesia, as Martha was treated for cancer during the pandemic.

Martha and her precious family.

“As a family, we were reborn and we want to thank Him for that this Christmas,” she says.

Martha’s daughter, Rebecca, aged 10, has missed the project while restrictions have been in place. She can’t wait for the opportunity to get together and celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas.

“I am happy to know that we will celebrate the birth of Jesus at the project. I really miss the centre, my friends, the tutors, the lessons. I can’t wait to go back so we can celebrate together!” says Rebecca.

The project’s Christmas celebrations would normally be an opportunity to share the gospel with their families and the wider community.

This year, Lixi plans to make special videos to send to the parents to remind them of the real hope of the Christmas celebration.

“Even if we can’t be all together for more than an hour or two, we want to share the love of God with the parents, especially in this season. So, we are recording devotions and making pamphlets explaining Christmas and urging them to come to church,” says Lixi.

Donate today and help provide every Compassion-supported child with a gift they really need this Christmas. You'll enable their local church to choose something that will bless them during this challenging season such as shoes, clothing or food.

Give hope this Christmas

Finding new ways to celebrate in remote Thailand

In a small community in the mountains of Thailand, the children are excitedly counting down to Christmas. But COVID-19 threatens everything this year. Many Christmas traditions may not be able to go ahead, as families need to stay at home.

Father and daughter in Thailand

Anania holding his daughter, Kawida, in the doorway of his house.

"We can't cancel Christmas," says Anania, a father of two girls. "We'll find a way to have everyone celebrate and have joy."

Usually at Christmas, there is a large gathering at the Compassion project, where more than 400 children and their families gather to play games, receive sponsor gifts, sing carols, and pray together.

“We can't let the children miss out on Christmas celebrations. They have been waiting with excitement, and it’s heartbreaking to see them disappointed,” says Chupo, the project director.

Chupo is coping with the uncertainty by planning for three possibilities. “If things get better, we will celebrate Christmas as usual,” he explains. “If nothing changes, we will celebrate with social distancing in smaller groups. But if the situation gets worse, we will deliver sponsor gifts and share the Christmas message by using the local broadcasting station. Whatever happens, we will still share the hope of Jesus’ birth and the true meaning of Christmas.”

Anania agrees that the good news of Jesus' birth will give them a reason to rejoice, no matter the circumstances. "I believe that Jesus came for us to have eternal life in heaven with him," he says with conviction. "Our world is full of problems, but Jesus was born to give us hope."

Christmas in Thailand

Kamonchanok in her home with a Christmas present her children received from the project.

Mother-of-three, Kamonchanok, always looks forward to the Christmas events, such as the nativity play. She says,

“Christmas is meaningful to me because Jesus came as my saviour, healer, and counsellor. My children are always excited for Christmas; they get up so early in the morning—before the sunrise! It might be different this year, but we are looking forward to hearing Jesus' story again.”

Yet the Christmas celebrations spring from church-based project’s year-round mission to provide for families’ most urgent needs. Each year, the children receive a Christmas gift that will help them, such as camping tents, sleeping bags, warm blankets, and warm winter jackets. Most families can't afford to buy these things every year; it would take months to save up enough for just a blanket.

When you give a generous Christmas gift to a child, it is a reminder that they are loved.

Donate today

A Christmas surprise planned for children in Togo

Preparing for Christmas in Togo

“The best gift we can offer on Christmas Day is a surprise visit.”

The Compassion project in Tsihinou, Togo, knows how to throw a memorable celebration at Christmas time. Each year, the community prepares with excitement for the joyful celebration of Jesus' birth. But this year is different.

Togo Compassion project director

Project Director Mawupemo is busy making plans to continue bringing children and families joy in their homes.

“The centre represents hope for the community. The difference for this coming Christmas will be that we will miss the enthusiasm, warmth, and togetherness we would normally experience,” says project director Mawupemo.

Children usually receive new clothes and shoes while the centre is filled with the sounds of music, happy voices and party whistles, and the smell of freshly cooked food. As toys are unwrapped and shared, the excitement peaks with children shouting over the music, laughing and dancing with joy.

This year, however, a shadow of uncertainty is cast over the children and their families. COVID-19 restrictions have been enforced across Togo, prohibiting the project’s traditional Christmas gathering.

“COVID-19 concerns us all," says Mawupemo. “Protecting lives will depend on all of us respecting these restrictions. If our sacrifice is to miss out on celebrating Christmas at the centre, to protect the lives of the children, then we will do that.”

The news has been met with sadness; the children are still coming to terms with what this means for them. Despite the challenges ahead, the project staff members are working on a secret plan to make this year special.

“The best gift we can offer a child and their family on Christmas day is to pay them a short surprise visit, just to let each family know that the church has not forgotten them,” says Mawupemo.

Christmas gifts in Togo

Sponsored child Herve holding the clothes he received from the project last Christmas.

Children and their families will receive special food kits, home visits and gifts delivered to their doors.

“We want to make sure that the children are visited by a staff member on Christmas Day,” says Mawupemo. “Christmas is about Jesus’ birth, so we will visit these lonely families to share the hope we have through Jesus’ birth and pray with them before they eat their meal. We want them to know that we still celebrate together while apart, with the same joy.”

Come alongside our church partners as they help children and families to celebrate the hope of Christ during these challenging times.

Write your Christmas greeting and donate today

WORDS : Compassion UK

PHOTOS : Compassion International




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