the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

An Akha Christmas - Part 2

We just returned from an amazing experience. Tomorrow is Christmas in our Akha village. Pastors and Bible students have already begun to arrive for the festivities. Tomorrow we will have dancing and eating and singing and a Christmas message - but tonight was the kickoff of the holiday.
I don't know how many of you have ever been caroling - Lori went a few times growing up, and I might have gone once or twice, but it was nothing like our evening tonight.
Once it was dark, everyone bundled up (it's probably 40 degrees in Mae Salong right now) and took off with flashlights and lighters towards the nearest village. After walking about a mile, we left the paved paths and began weaving our way up a deer trail on the mountain. After (carefully) walking for another half hour we came to a bamboo hut. Out came the occupants who lit a candle in their doorway. We then sang three or four "carols" in Akha (not carols you might recognize, but Akha songs with Christmas themes) and all shook hands with everyone in the home. Off we went to the next hut, and the next. Sometimes perched on a stilt porch, sometimes gathered around a small fire inside a home, sometimes scattered across the side of a hill we sang of a baby born in Bethlehem. After a few hours Lori and I called it a night - but we can still hear those Akha men and women's voices ringing through the valley. As someone once wrote long ago Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

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