Nativity Play (video)

by Julie Banks

We took down our Christmas tree today. For me it’s always kind of a sad day. It’s the end of a season I love. But as I look back over the Christmas holidays here at Kibuye, it was really a special time, and we had so much fun not only with our families, but also in the local community.

This is the third year in a row that the children rehearsed and performed the story of Jesus’s birth. In the Western world it is very common for children to dress up and do a Nativity Play. But that is not the case here in Burundi. This is a new experience for our Burundian neighbors. For many who saw our kids' Christmas production, it might be their first time watching the Bible come alive in this way. They smile, they laugh, they whisper to each other each time a new character comes on, which really adds a fun dynamic to the performance.

This year we even added a set, or backdrop, to the production. The kids, working with our teammate Lauren Chudnovsky, who is an artist, painted 4 different scenes, and Jonah Watts built a moveable stand for it. Each scene looked amazing!

In addition to the Nativity, the kids also put together a chime performance. Michelle Wendler arranged a version of “Carol of the Bells” which she taught to the children during their music classes at Kibuye Hope Academy. The children performed the chimes and the Nativity in two locations at the hospital, as well as at the local school and the local church.

One of the places we performed was at the outpatient malnutrition clinic. These are children who had previously been admitted to the hospital for severe malnutrition. After they are released from the hospital, they are allowed to come back twice a week to be weighted, and receive a sack of Busoma (a nutrient-rich porridge) and a hard-boiled egg.

As the performance ended, I asked one of the chaplains to translate for me as I shared the good news of the Gospel with the children and their mothers. Christmas is not just a story - it happened! And it happened for a reason. God sent his son as a gift to us so we could be forgiven, and all we have to do is receive the gift.

As the pastor translated what I was saying, I noticed a majority of the group stood up. The pastor leaned over and whispered to me that he had asked who would like to respond to this good news, and who needs prayer. There were so many standing! Kibuye Hope Hospital is filled with people in need, not only for physical healing, but also for spiritual healing.

And that right there made it all worth it. All the rehearsals and costumes and sets. It wasn’t just a performance. We shared Jesus’s story. A story of grace, love, and forgiveness.

Please continue to pray not only for our team here at Kibuye, but also for the three chaplains who have a huge job at the hospital. The needs are massive. Physically and spiritually. We pray that everything we do is wrapped in truth and grace. Even a performance like this, that is new to their culture and can be a bit of a spectacle, we pray that the light of the Gospel would shine through all we do here.


Madeline and Zeke as Mary and Joseph

Alma, Ella, and Seija as the Angels

Anna was the Kirundi narrator, Piper was the French narrator

Micah Watts and Abi Fader as the Shepherds

Liam Banks, Biniyam, and Kaden as the Three Wise Men

Toby John, Liam Fader, and Tracy (Dr. Alliance's daughter) as the Sheep

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

Way to go, Kibuye kids, Julie, and Michelle!! Praising God with you that His redemtive story was told and responded to in such a beautiful way.