Christmas Party Club 2014

Saturday was the big day. The Christmas Party Club that 2500 Good News Club kids were coming to from all over Madagascar. Many government officials, pastors, and principals had also been invited to this event that was kicking off the 20 year anniversary of CEF in Madagascar. Everything that you can possibly imagine went wrong. It all started with my hair straightner dying and seeing that my kittens had covered my entire kitchen in a bag of sugar as I walked out the door. While I thought these things were about as bad as it could get, I was wrong. I arrive at the school that I was going to the party with. Our bus filled with excited children and took off toward the party. Only to get stuck in traffic. For two hours. Our fed up bus driver stopped about a 20 minute walk from the party and told us we could walk the rest of the way. He was done and had an appointment he was already late for. We walked the rest of the way and arrived only to find that we weren’t the only ones who were late. The entire chapter that I work with was late because the road was closed. The school I went with didn’t know about the closed road and was on the detour route that everyone else had to take. J  How the main road heading into town gets closed the last Saturday before Christmas is beyond me, but it happened. One school walked the entire way. Other schools took long detours.

Hasina showed up at one of our schools only to find that both buses they had counted on where stuck in traffic and couldn’t make it because of the closed road. With excited children and parents waiting in the school yard, Hasina and a teacher went out to try to locate another bus. All the drivers refused, hoping for a day off because of the closed road. Finally, one driver agreed.

Hours after the kids were suppose to arrive, kids from our chapter finally began to trickle in. Thankfully, the kids were asked to arrive early, so even this delay wasn’t as bad as it could have been. My job during the club was to stand at the bottom of the bleachers and hold visuals. I stood there, holding visuals and looking that the kids that had come from three of the schools Hasina and I teach at. All three schools we had just started a little over a month ago. The teachers, principals, and parents knew nothing about CEF other than that Hasina and I showed up each week to teach the Bible to their kids. I couldn’t help but praise God for each of our students.

The room was filled with about 2500 kids. Each of the five chapters here in Tana had their kids wearing a different color of ribbon from the wordless book around their neck. Hasina’s and my kids were wearing black ribbons. CEF workers lined the bottom of the bleachers, holding visuals. We got to the invitation at the end of the Bible lesson and they were asked to raise their hands if they were ready to accept Jesus, then led in a prayer. I watched as a parents who had come with one of our schools raised her hand, along with many other hands all over the gym. Her lips moved as she prayed, accepting Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Right then and there I wanted to cry as I realized that all the traffic and bus issues didn’t matter at all. God was still at work. This was worth everything.


Not only was there a club for the kids, but people stood up and shared their stories of how God was using CEF in their schools, in their lives and in the lives of their children. To wrap up, the children who traveled from regions outside of Tana put on a short program.

Here are some of the CYIA students from Ranomafana along with some GNC kids!

Afterwards, as the children filed out, the teachers and principals of our schools stopped to talk to me. They were all smiles. They went on and on about how wonderful it had all been, and about how excited they were about CEF. Two of them said excitedly, “this is amazing! Whenever you put on anything we will be here. And if we can’t be here to support you, we will send others to go for us.” Then today, Monday, we went to their school Christmas party. One of the teachers stood up infront of the parents and explained how excited she was about CEF and how amazing Saturday had been. She retold a testimony from a principal who had shared, saying she couldn’t stop thinking about what he had said.

After the Chrismas Party Club wrapped up, the kids had left and we had cleaned up, we were all starting to think of going home, but there weren’t any buses heading back toward the south where my friends and I live. But we didn’t walk home. We hitched a ride in the back of a covered pick-up truck that was taking supplies back to Pastor D’s house and just happened to have room for the seven of us. Isn’t God amazing??

Today, as I walked home, I knew that despite all that had happened with traffic, buses, and road closures, God had worked in the lives of those who had come. And isn’t that what the day was all about anyway? Best of all, there is no way to explain this event other than that it was truly a God thing! Only He could have brought it all together!


Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning, how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because through them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Madagascar? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Madagascar in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
28902 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Emilio Fernandez

Mariusz from Nowy Sacz said...

Beautiful ceremony.

Happy New Year !!!