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Rachel Mann and Sarah Peterson are serving our global church during a year abroad through Young Adults in Global Mission. Today they share Christmas greetings and how you can pray for them in the new year.
Tratry ny Krismasy! Merry Christmas from Madagascar! As a native Minnesotan and a college grad from the Upper Peninsula, a holiday season without snow is certainly something new. Even without snow, the Christmas spirit is alive and well in Fianarantsoa! Market stalls are selling tinsel and ornaments, students are performing Christmas pageants at school, choirs are busy with concerts, and Malagasy Christmas hymns can be heard blasting out of speakers as you walk down the street.
My Christmas celebration started early this year when I attended a Christmas event last week at Amboaloboka, a young women’s vocational school where I teach. After a short church service, the students performed a variety of songs and dances, as well as acted out the nativity story. It was such an amazing opportunity to get a glimpse of traditional Malagasy culture and to see my students show off what they’ve been working on! Coming up next week, I’ll be attending church services on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my host family. On the 25th, everyone will dress up in their best clothes for what promises to be an all-day event. Malagasy celebrations typically involve lots of lengthy speeches and lots of singing; it’s not uncommon for a celebratory church service to last upwards of five hours! After church, I’ll join my host family for a Christmas meal featuring a special chicken and, as always, plenty of rice.
In the New Year, I ask for prayers for continued relationship building, for my host community, and for all of the other YAGM volunteers in Madagascar and around the world. Sending the warmest of seasons greetings to you all from Fianarantsoa! May God bless you and your loved ones this holiday season.
This is a view looking out of the Chipping Norton church two Sundays ago. It's the first proper snow fall they've had in around 6 years!
I'm celebrating Christmas this year with the two churches where I serve. We have already had a few Christmas dinners where we eat turkey and do crackers. Crackers are a toy that you pull apart, the inside filled with small toys and a paper crown that you wear as you eat the Christmas dinner! Yesterday we had a carol service and a nativity play with the kids.
Please include in your prayers the youth at the Church who are on break right now.