A Tea Party

How do you effectively love 12 girls, ages five through 15, as Jesus would love them?  Twelve beautiful girls from the country of Myanmar who have only been in this country for a handful of years.  Girls who’ve never heard the story of Jesus’ birth.  Girls who are still learning the English language and culture.  Girls who are no less daughters of King than you and me.  By hosting a tea party!

Friends were recruited to help, cookies baked, and a home cleaned and graciously opened.  Craft projects were planned and supplies gathered.  Out came Grandmother’s tea set, wedding china and various teacups collected over the years.  Tables were set with white tablecloths and fine china along with a buffet full of goodies.  It was all done in anticipation of a special opportunity to love, nurture, and serve these youngsters who God loves so deeply.

Excited girls, helpers and hostesses gathered the day of the party.   The party began with everyone finding a seat at the tables then a blessing was prayed over the girls.  Food was chosen and tea poured with many lumps of sugar added along with milk.  Pinky fingers were raised as the tea was sipped.  Next came the crafting phase of the party.  Sugar cookies were decorated to be taken home and eaten later.  A Christmas tree craft was made using sticky glue and sequins.

Eventually we gathered around the piano in the living room.  Some of the girls curled up on the couch while others sat on the floor in front of the fireplace.  We all got comfortable.  Kori, our hostess, sat in the arm chair and told the story of Jesus’ birth.  The girls were so attentive listening to Kori and answering questions she posed.  We were blessed to have Ginny Owens as our very special guest.  She played the piano and led us in Christmas carols.  Some of our familiar Christmas carols were new to the girls, so for a few songs the adults did the singing. The girls however did sing “Christmas in Many Languages,” a song they learned in Children’s Freedom Choir.

After the story and music time, we finished up the afternoon’s activities by making a Baby Jesus to remind the girls of why we celebrate Christmas.  The goal was that they would take Baby Jesus home and tell their family the story of His birth, hopefully they did.  Then, with smiles on their faces and full tummies, we loaded up the van and returned them to their homes.

There are certain aspects of the day that stand out for me.  Seeing Ginny Owens patiently giving Paw Moo an impromptu piano lesson.  Receiving the biggest and longest hug from Ah Nay Paw while she shares what fun she is having.  Watching the girls hear the Christmas story and take in its meaning.  Hearing from the girls that their favorite part of the afternoon was listening to the story of Jesus.  Marveling over the girls’ creativity as they decorated cookies, made a Christmas tree ordainment and a Baby Jesus.  And last, but not least, joining with my Sisters in Christ to host this event.  Sisters with a love for Jesus and for the least of these, whom he calls us serve … each one His beloved daughter.