Friday, December 19, 2003

Pasku Briante

Christmas time on Bonaire is usually warm, sunny, and windy. This year promises to be no exception. So what makes Christmas Christmassy when there are no Chestnuts Roasting by an Open Fire? Well, I guess once one has lived here long enough, one develops new traditions and Christmas associations.

One is the short simple Christmas Eve service at the IBCB. (International Bible Church of Bonaire) We sing a bunch of Carols, enjoy a number of special music selections - especially from students who are home from College, and listen to a short devotional by the pastor. To wrap it all up, we turn off the lights and fans, and all sing Silent Night while standing around the perimeter of the room holding lighted candles. Here's a picture of Sandra and some friends getting ready for a morning worship service at the IBCB.

Dennis Martinus is at the piano in the picture. He's a son of Alejandro Martinus, who you Bonaire old timers will no doubt remember. Dennis and his wife, Luca, have a youth ministry to teens on Bonaire. One of their annual activities is Pasku Briante. During the whole year, their high school age kids collect shoe boxes and seek donations of various types of toys and fun stuff for young kids. Each evening this week they have been packing and wrapping the shoe boxes like Christmas presents. Tomorrow (Saturday) they head to Curacao to distribute these Christmas gift packages to needy children in three of the poorer barios. They'll be distributing boxes next week to kids on Bonaire too. Besides receiving the cool shoe box gift packages, the kids will learn about God's love Gift, given that first Christmas 2000 years ago.

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