International Orthodox Christian News

We Are Family: Theme for 2009 in Zambia

Coptic Orthodox Mission

What a special treat this Christmas season brought to the Coptic Church in Lusaka, Zambia. Many of our students from the St. Abanoub Christian Community School joined the celebration at the St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church for January 6 Christmas Eve. And what a celebration it was! Over 75 people were baptized, including many of our very own children who attend the school. Many of those that were baptized had been attending the church for over a year now and had recently completed the catechism course. One of our most active members and students at the school, Maria Nawakwi, had recently brought her whole family to join the church and they confirmed their faith by being baptized on January 6, 2009.

At the end of the Liturgy, to encourage the “We are Family” theme for the 2009 year, every group presented a Christmas song to the church. For example, the Zambian praise team sang an English song, the Zambian choir sang a vernacular song, the Ethiopian families sang an Amharic song, and the Arabic deacons sang an Arabic hymn. To top off the evening, the Sunday school children presented a beautifully costumed production of the “Christmas Story”. And of course, no night is complete as a family without an Agape meal.

Further, there was a journalist from a popular, national newspaper, The Post, who joined the festivities. He was so excited with the Christmas celebration that he stayed the whole night with us, interviewing many, and enjoying the fellowship. A few weeks later he wrote a two-page article filled with color pictures about the event.

While the fellowship, praising, and the service were wonderful, what truly meant the most was celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the reason to celebrate this season and provides the true joy that brought us all together in a remarkable way. Thank God for His love and grace.


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