We recently received a wonderful report from our missionary partners in Nepal, where children are creatively and joyfully sharing the Christmas message with their communities.
Navodaya Mission in Nepal helps educate and look after Chepang Tribal children, who are among the most marginalised in society. Because their settlement is so remote, they have almost no opportunities for education and development. But with Missio’s help, missionaries run a school exclusively for the tribal children: 235 of them under the age of 14! The school can provide them with everything they need – clothing, food and study materials – free of charge, because of your generous donations.
Growing in faith
The missionaries also help the children to know Jesus and experience God’s love in their lives. The faith is growing, and the children have organised a Christmas program with singing, drama and prayers for their community. Fr. Michael Chirayath, who is in charge of the Navodaya mission, shares:
‘All the children of our school belong to the Chepang tribal community and all of them are living in our hostel. They go home for holidays only three times a year. One among them is the Christmas holidays. Since they go home for Christmas, we celebrate it in the school at a convenient time when children are in the school.
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A special performance
Last year, the children got a really special opportunity. Fr Michael shares:
‘In 2021, reporters from Shalom TV in India were here, and they wanted to record and telecast our Christmas celebrations in the school. A ‘live’ crib was made; children sang Christmas hymns; they performed dances on the themes of Christmas; and ended the program with Carol songs. The joy of Christmas was shining on the faces of the children. It was a memorable day in their lives.’
Taking the message home for Christmas
Meanwhile, Fr Michael says, when the children went home for Christmas, they continued to share the Good News.
‘The children of the Navodaya Mission helped share the message of Christmas in Chepang settlements. Some Pastors even asked us to send our children home for Christmas a few days early, so that the community could prepare some Christmas Programs in their settlement churches with the help and leadership of our children. They very much depend on our children for making the programs.
‘Their involvement truly added colour, solemnity and quality in the Christmas celebrations in their settlements. The message of Christmas was made more lively, vivid and contextual to the local people.
‘Our children also are very happy to involve themselves in their communities and to get involved with various aspects of celebrations. I do not claim that our children play a big role in giving out the message of Christmas to the local people, but I am convinced that their presence and active involvement makes a difference in the quality of the celebrations.’
Hope for the future
Perhaps particularly at Christmas, we are drawn to the joy and hope children can add to the world. The children of the Navodaya Mission have helped to ignite God’s love in their own communities and beyond. The Shalom TV Channel broadcast a half hour program about the Christmas Celebration in Navodaya in Nepal, on Christmas Eve last year. It was watched by a large number of Catholics in India, and you can watch it here below!
Your help makes all the difference
Thank you so much for supporting children around the world through Missio this Christmas. If you would like to support our work, you can donate here>>