Christmas in Chageen for the Kwong Christians consists of an all night church service/sing-along with a sermon at midnight - apparently a concession to the Catholic midnight-mass concept. We stayed up long enough for the Christmas Pageant which was in three parts - The Temptation and Fall of Adam and Eve, The Judgment of Solomon, and, of course, the Nativity. We were a bit perplexed about the Judgment of Solomon bit, but another missionary told us it is an essential part of Chadian Christmas pageants that they wouldn't miss for anything.
Solomon (with sticks in his crown) getting ready to chop the baby in two. Mark rigged up a florescent light and battery visible on the right hand edge of the picture for the occasion.
Joseph and Mary after their arrival in Bethlehem.
The wise men dickering with Kind Herod about the whereabouts of the baby Jesus.
The shepherd and his "sheep" showing up at the manger. Bet you didn't know that the Wise Men got there first!
As we mentioned, the party goes on all night, and we weren't quite up to it so cashed in our chips at about 11 pm on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, however, the party resumes at 3 pm with a huge feast of boule (the staple putty) and sauce (meat or vegetable based flavoring for the putty).
Mark with Diane's Dad here - as always in Chad, the men and women eat separately.
That's Suzanne, the midwife at our Evangelical Clinic in Chageen eating with Diane and her mom.
Christmas afternoon after the food is gone, we sit around under the tree and talk until well after sundown. That's our house in the background, and a big pile grass on stilts (for the termites) in the upper right of the picture to redo the thatch on our roof.
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