For many, Christmas is always an exciting time of the year. Excitement as winter and snow shows their faces, Christmas lights and trees go up, parties, wrapping presents, spending time with family.
For some families in Cristo Rey, there are fireworks and if you are one of the lucky ones- there is a meal served at midnight on Christmas Eve. There is family and community. There is laughter and love. However, for many of our families at the feeding center, Christmas isn’t exciting. In fact, for many it is just another day. Another day to face the daily struggles of living. Another day to struggle to find food to feed your children. Another day of searching through garbage trying to find something that is recyclable so you can sell it and buy a pound of rice. There are no Christmas trees, there are no Christmas lights, there are no presents.
For us as a ministry, we want for just one day the children to laugh, to get a special meal and then receive a package of food that will get their families through Christmas and New Years. Trust us, it takes a LOT of work to prepare for that ONE day. It takes time and effort to promote it, update website, send emails, BEG for money in order to do any of this. It not only takes our time, it takes two full days of work for the ladies that work for us. It takes lots of volunteers. It takes a full day to go to the market and buy all the food. It takes another full day to go and shop for presents. It takes another full day make all of the love bags. BUT we wouldn’t trade it for anything!!! There is nothing greater than seeing children laugh and smile or to have a child give you a hug and say thank you. There is nothing greater than children gobbling up all their food and then saying how delicious it was.
This is Adan’s mom. Adan is 3 years old. Adan is newer to the feeding program. He comes but not as much as other kids. When we gave the tickets out for Christmas in Cristo Rey, Adan didn’t receive a ticket at first. However, we had 38 extra tickets to give out. Adan’s mom waited in line and was very respectful so we gave her a ticket so Adan could enter. As she sat down, Adan gobbled up all his food. Next, they came forward to get their Love Bag. As Adan’s mom approached me, she said, “Gracias!” and immediately started crying. I gave her a big hug and asked her what was wrong. She began to tell me that Adan’s dad and her husband died in May. They have been having a really hard time. She told me that she didn’t have any food to feed Adan during the holiday break and was for thankful for the bag of food that she received.
People, THAT IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!!! It’s not about the presents, the tree, the lights…it’s about being the HANDS, FEET AND MOUTH of JESUS CHRIST! Jesus KNEW that Adan’s mom needed food. Jesus KNEW that Adan’s mom needed a hug. Jesus KNEW that Adan’s mom needed love. Jesus KNEW before we ever started handing out tickets, that Adan would be chosen to get a ticket. Jesus KNEW that Adan and his mom needed to see HIM!!
For us, that is what Christmas in Cristo Rey is about. It’s not to ask people for more money. If that were the case, we’d be asking EVERY DAY for money!! It’s about giving single moms an opportunity to feed their children. It’s about giving children a day to laugh, have fun and enjoy an opportunity to present their families with a Love Bag. It’s about seeing our ladies give back to their own community. It’s about celebrating a baby born in a manager!
We want to THANK EVERYONE who gave towards Christmas in Cristo Rey. We couldn’t do ANY of this WITHOUT you!!! Thank you for believing in Life Together Nicaragua and in everything we do here in Nicaragua. We are humbled by your generosity!! We can’t wait for Christmas in Cristo Rey 2015!!
Enjoy a video about Christmas in Cristo Rey 2014!