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Christmas Around the World at WorldSong delights visitors


COOK SPRINGS, Ala. (BP)–Christmas Around the World touched the lives of more than 2,500 children, students and adults at WorldSong Missions Place for four nights in December. The Alabama camp offered six programs for school children, two guided tours for senior adults and family nights on the weekends.

“We had a nice turnout, and I think the people who came enjoyed seeing what Christmas is like in other countries,” said Regina Howell, camp director at WorldSong, an Alabama Woman’s Missionary Union facility in Cook Springs.

With the help of numerous volunteers, the annual Christmas Around the World shows what Christmas is like in different countries, along with featuring nativities from around the world, an ice carver, storytellers, a petting zoo, handcrafts from numerous countries and thousands of lights that create a winter wonderland effect.

This year, Christmas Around the World focused on Mexico, Switzerland and the Philippines. When visitors arrived at each country, they enjoyed an array of food samples, meeting missionaries, making crafts, playing games and other activities.

In Mexico, visitors made their own tortilla and performed the “Mexican Hat Dance.”

Volunteers from Calhoun Baptist Association provided dresses, hats, books and more from Mexico to show what life is like there. While one volunteer read a story about a child in Mexico, another led visitors to make a “God’s eye,” a traditional Mexican Christmas decoration.

When visitors entered Switzerland, they saw the Dan Howard family of Mountain View Baptist Church in Alexandria and some friends demonstrating Christmas amid a snowy scene that one might see in Switzerland. Visitors were treated to hot cocoa and a traditional cinnamon cookie. Next they made a Christmas ornament or took a winter sled ride.

In the Philippines, visitors tried their luck at an apple-eating contest in a Philippine hut or tried “monkey bites,” a traditional Philippine snack of bananas, chocolate, nuts and coconut. Visitors met Wendy Jennings, a missionary whose family serves in the Philippines, and saw several original crafts she and her family brought back to show.

Senior adult tour

“One of the biggest successes of this year was the guided tour and dinner for senior adults,” Howell said. “More than a month before the event, we sold out of tickets for the senior adult tour and constantly had people wanting to get in. As a result, next year we plan to add more opportunities to come to a guided tour and dinner for senior adults.”

Other parts of Christmas Around the World included a talking Christmas tree, a fireworks show and ice carver Doug Witcher’s transformation of a block of ice into a life-like shape.

“We have had people come from all over Alabama just to see the lights and what Christmas is like in other countries,” Howell said. “People have really enjoyed the nativities from around the world housed in our adult retreat center. And I think the missionaries have been a special delight for many.”

For more information about WorldSong’s 2003 event or to get involved as a volunteer, contact Regina Howell at (205) 884-2437 or [email protected].

The Alabama WMU ministry is supported by gifts to the Kathleen Mallory Mission Offering and the Cooperative Program.
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(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES.

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