What Will You Give this Christmas?
By: Joy Eva Bohol*
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 (NIV)
"Being a part of the street theater group this Christmas that emphasizes on alleviating human rights and issues of peace and justice, is the best gift I could give," said 10 year-old Yesid in Spanish, when I asked him what he will give this Christmas. Yesid is one of the 35 children and youth from Sogamoso, Dept. of Boyaca, who will participate in this year's Novena (nine days of prayer and worship before Christmas day practiced by mostly Roman Catholics and other Protestant and Evangelical churches) from December 16-24. At a very young age, Yesid is aware of and advocating to end Colombia's continual struggle of military conflict, discrimination, inequality based on gender and sexuality, and other issues. "People should be informed well of what is happening; we should be informed of issues that paralyzes not only a few but the entire nation." Every year Centro Popular para America Latina de Comunicación (CEPALC) holds alternative media workshops across the country, especially among women and children from the most desperately poor communities. The workshops help attendees create spaces for conversations and active citizenship.
Listening to Yesid and the other kids' passion to share their hope for a better nation, led me to God's greatest gift to us in Jesus Christ. Through Him, we were given salvation--liberty from death and given life. (John 3:16) Jesus' coming, God's incarnation in human flesh, did not only happen 2000 years ago. As God's followers, God's Spirit also lives in us. Because God rests in us, we are called to do the same—to be His hands and feet in the world; to open the eyes and hearts of people. Displacement of many people due to guerilla-government conflict, discrimination based on skin color, violence against women, inequality of gender, etc. are still prevalent in Colombia (and the world). As we wait for Christ's second coming, let us continually incarnate God's love to the people around not only in this season but every day of our lives. Let us bring new life to those who are lost through our proclamation of God's peace and justice. God gave the greatest gift to the world, He is asking us for our part. What would you give this Christmas?
*Joy Eva Bohol is a Global Mission Intern who has been serving with Centro Popular para America Latina de Comunicación (CEPALC), in Colombia for the past 20 months. Joy Eva is a member of the Philippines Central Conference and a part of the 2013-2015 class of Mission Interns.
Global Ministries is launching the Global Mission Fellows program in 2014 building on the strengths of the Mission Intern Program. Applications are being accepted through January 15th for young adults 20-30 interesting in serving with communities around the world. Apply now and learn more at www.umcmission.org/gmfellows.