Christmas in Butiama & Buhemba - 7

Fr. Jim Donohue.

The final outstation was at Kyamuko. It is a small community and there were no baptisms scheduled. I was told that we needed to take communion to a sick woman after Mass, but all else seemed in order.

Leonsi read the first reading.

People bring forward their gift of money, but also some goods such as vegetables, matches, soap, and water. This outstation is very poor. They did not have a bag for the collection, so they put it in my hand. Every person gave something during the collection, but the total amounted to about 2 dollars. It made me think of the poor widow in the gospel who placed both her coins in the collection at the Temple.

Christmas 2023 7-5

I am always up for a bit of socializing! This little guy was telling me all the good things that happened today!

Our last task was to take communion to a woman who was sick. It turned out that we had to walk about 2 miles through corn fields to reach her house. I found that this woman was not sick, but rather, very elderly. She was partially blind and lived in a tiny hut. She was 103 years old. I did many things on this Christmas Day. I was tired and thirsty at this point. But, upon reflection, this was the best thing that I did on Christmas Day…bringing Christ to this poor, elderly woman.

People take care of each other here. This is the parishioner who knew about the elderly woman and who guided us to her house. I asked her if she wanted a ride back home, but she said that she preferred to walk. I hope it was not my driving!

I had Mass the day after Christmas. I remembered that the favorite fruit of the altar servers is an apple! So, we had a small Christmas treat. I usually give them a small piece of chocolate or a hard candy. This was a much bigger hit with them!

Of course, the next day, they asked me if I had any more apples! I told them that I was “all out” of apples. What about a piece of chocolate? What about the candies?

It is hard to say “no” to them. Of course, I usually have a supply, so I went to my room to get some candies for them. By the time I returned to the church sacristy the five altar servers had multiplied to 25 servers, not including younger brothers and sisters.

I asked them if they had a cell phone network. They just laughed.

On the third day after Christmas, there were 30 altar servers, looking expectantly at me after Mass!

More to come on

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