Monday, December 25, 2006

Some children see Him bronzed and brown . . .

We had a most glorious Christmas day. One of the highlights was taking "Christmas" to the Somalian family Danielle has adopted. They are devout Muslims. We took oodles of presents for the three girls, Halima, Habiba and Ndifa, plus a large fruit basket, popcorn and coats for the whole family. Hassan, the father, has been in the hospital for many weeks now, slowly dying of a mixture of ailments. TB, parasites, years of poor nutrition in the refugee camps have all taken their toll on him. He called Mejuma, his wife, while we were visiting. She indicated, through her oldest daughter Halima (who speaks English), that he would not be coming home that day for the festivities.

The girls ripped into their presents and had them all open in record time. And before the wrapping paper even hit the ground, they were fighting over their gifts.

Danielle rushed around like a mother hen, clucking threats (if you girls don't stop fighting over your toys, we'll take them back with us!), and overseeing the clean-up process. When the gift-giving ended, Halima proudly offered us a platter of Sambosas (African meat pies), baked especially for this occasion. As we munched on this spicy treat, she handed us each a mug of strong Somali-style coffee--laced with ginger and lots of sugar.

All during our visit, a video played from the small TV in the corner of the room. It was an Indian movie, a musical of some kind, disturbing yet mesmerizing at the same time. During a rather torrid scene, Halima informed us, "It OK. They married."

We took pictures, sang "We wish you a merry Christmas" and took our leave. I hugged Mejuma goodbye and told her I would pray for Hassan to get better. She doesn't speak English, but seemd to understand my meaning.

"Yes," she said, hugging me back.

Of all the things we did to commemorate the birth of Christ this year, I am pretty sure this made His day.
It made mine, for sure.