Christmas in Cameroon

December 5, 2017

Tis the season to be jolly!

If you live in the United States, these last few weeks have been packed with family time, turkey dinners, and holiday shopping. The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season has officially started. Lights are being hung, chestnuts are roasting, and soon presents will pile up underneath the tree. While the true reason for the season is the birth of Jesus Christ, the United States is easily distracted by the material goods that have been attached to this world-changing birth. But what about the rest of the globe? What does Christmas look like when you step off this continent and onto another?

In the Cameroonian village where MCWA’s hospital is situated, Christians celebrate Christmas, but not in the USA fashion you are probably thinking of right now. They do not celebrate with presents and decorations. They celebrate with each other. The church body will gather and spend the entire day together. They will share a meal and even put on skits from the Christmas story in the Bible. The whole day is devoted to celebrating the Lord and rejoicing in the good things He has blessed His people with, including friends and food.

While gift-giving is never a bad thing, there are a few transformational elements we can learn from our Cameroonian brothers and sisters. They are not distracted by Santa Claus, shopping, and travel plans. They just enjoy the Lord, the day of His birth and the new life they have because of Him. Their neighbors do not get wrapped up in the holiday if they don’t know Jesus, because the entire season is about Jesus! Manger scenes are everywhere in the United States, but how many passers-by truly understand who that baby is?

As we plunge into the season, yes, be merry and bright! But don’t be distracted by things that will rot and ruin in time. Remember the eternal gift that started on Christmas.

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