By Mike Hutchinson
CBF provides opportunity for people all over the world. It is an opportunity for them to discover who God made them to be—and that is the most wonderful discovery any person, in any culture, expressing it through any language can make.
Christmas is a most wonderful time of the year to make that discovery.
In our Togo community of Avépozo people do not know God. They are not yet aware that He has made them for a purpose. Through our ministries at Togo House we share God through development clubs. We find God together in Science Clubs, cooking classes, dress making, art class, language clubs and many other creative ways.
In 2016, some middle school students in the community wanted to do “something” for December school break. They came up with the idea of putting on a Christmas play that told the story of how Jesus was born. They worked up the story line, designed costumes, created personalities, made props and painted back drops. The most prized and sought after personality in this play turned out to be King Herod’s guards…every boy wanted to be a military guard for the King! “The king is nothing…it is those around him with the arms that are more important,” explained a 13-year-old boy.
In a part of the world where coup de etat is not unknown, I thought this a rather astute observance.
The play is done each year now by a rotating group of kids and adults in our neighborhood. Each year, the sheep steal the show as they flow in from stage right full of energy and bleats to see the new born king. The noisiest part is the arrival of the wise men—and their entourage also. A few added characters in this Togo version are the servants of the Magi who carry their gifts for them (whoever heard of a rich person carrying their own baggage?).
We do the play outside. We set up 100 chairs and pass out tickets for the chairs. Everyone is welcome, but if you want a chair you have to have a ticket. The story is read, the actors act, and the closing song sung—but the party is not over.
Now the children draw ticket numbers from a hat…and if you have a ticket you can win a Christmas prize! A casserole dish, African cloth to make a dress, a soccer ball, a bag of rice…but the best gift… a live chicken for New Year’s dinner!
Participating and partnering with CBF makes opportunity in one of the poorest countries in the world. It opens the Christmas Spirit of sharing and love for many to discover who God has made them to be.
Mike Hutchinson is a CBF field personnel serving alongside his wife, Lynn, in Togo, West Africa. To learn more about and support their ministries in Togo, visit www.cbf.net/hutchinson.