SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEE COMMUNITIES CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AT MAAJI SETTLEMENT, UGANDA
By Elimon Lagu – Rejoice! For our Saviour is born today. Greetings and blessings to you and to the entire Christian congregation under your pastoral care. To you too I here present the Christmas greetings of the South Sudan Refugee Christian families from Maaji settlement – Adjumani district, Uganda, where together we are sharing the mysteries of the cross.
What a glorious favour! God loves the most abundant ones and humbles those in pain, these is through the mercy He has shown in Nazareth where Prophet Isaiah even mentioned “you little” and Philip too said “what good can come out of Nazareth”.
It is like a mango tree which can’t bear fruits. God made sense out of what human beings doubt by raising Christ Jesus, His begotten Son, from a Virgin land and woman; a land with no holy and a woman with no desire for man.
This is amazing! At time we feel neglected, rejected and lonely like a bird without feathers in the mission of rising the flag of salvation, but God knows why and how to move on us in those missions of our calls.
Take it when the Archangel Gabriel said to Mary: “you will be shadowed by the wing of God and you will give birth to a baby boy” and Mary’s heart was broken and answered “how can that be?”, but faith strengthened her.
How welcoming she was! For this celebration should print that image of Mary in our hearts and minds to have that courage to still say yes when called and keep moving with yes we answered.
In Baptism, we have accepted Jesus Christ as our saviour! Why do we say Jesus Christ is our Saviour? At this Christmas celebration we are remembering the beginning of human salvation where Jesus Christ gave himself up to the cross just to win us for heaven after his birth.
But though Christian we are we are still in dilemma wondering why there still human suffering! Like a lady who told me from one of the small Christian community in the camp here that she is married to a man who was humble, caring and loving even he is calling her sweet but after giving birth to one and then two children, this man started new a page of marriage by drinking a lot of alcohol to the extent of even helping himself in his cloth. So she asked me of what to do, whereby one of the members answered “that’s your cross, you were the one who had accepted to marry him”. In every vocation there is challenging!
When we have excellent characters heaven wants us and also hell is in need of us; that’s why when the Archangel Gabriel said to Mary “you will bear a child” Mary answered “I don’t know man! How possible would that be?” though prayerful Mary was! She was unable to welcome easily the massage of God as well as Joseph, her prominent husband. Till she herd “by the power of God and even Elizabeth is sixth month with child”.
This is also the same to us as Christians and religious; we need always reconciliation. That’s why Jesus came to reconcile us with the heavenly Father and as to the reason why we call him our Saviour.
The celebration of Christmas is meant to change our hearts and minds. So, if you haven’t changed you have not celebrated Christmas. We are called to change our attitudes towards God and our fellow human beings. For that, I invite you to integrate yourself in the midst of children, there you will learn quickly how to change!
May this Christmas bring us hope, good health and free us from all evil chain which is causing us to hate each other in the mission, talking evil of others, deceiving people and denying God at times of trials. And also renew our baptism to help us stand strong with our yes to God.
Photos taken at St Benedict chapel, which was joined by 103 new members, at Maaji II refugees settlement in Uganda.