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Kenyan child’s drawing proclaims ”Christ is born”, as WCC sends Christmas greetings

Kenyan child’s drawing proclaims ”Christ is born”, as WCC sends Christmas greetings

By Richard Ochieng, Kenya.

13 December 2017

“Christ is born” declares a drawing by Kenyan schoolboy Richard Ochieng, whose work is featured on the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Christmas card this year.

The child in the manger, the star in the sky, the awe of the shepherds. “Be not afraid.” As Christians around the world await the arrival of the Holy Child, the WCC sends Christmas greetings to people and churches worldwide.

On its Christmas card this year is a drawing produced through collaboration with St Clement Orthodox Primary School in Nairobi, and His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Kenya.

”Our school was started in 2002 by Archbishop Makarios,” explains Fr Evangelos Thiani at St Clement. ”It grew out of food support for children in need - orphans, refugees, children infected or affected by HIV, children from single-parent or child-headed families. Realizing that these children did not go to school, the archbishop initiated a school and admitted them all into nursery or kindergarten classes.”

“Richard Ochieng has been with us since 2010,” adds Fr Evangelos. “He is a hardworking boy from a single-parent family who has a passion for art, and he is looking forward to completing his primary school education in 2018.”

”As churches around the world work for peace even in the most difficult of situations, we have looked for sources of inspiration, of artistic expression, of hope,” explains WCC director of communication Marianne Ejdersten.

”It is through the arrival of a child that the world receives the good news. To invite a child to share with us the message of Christmas, we believe can be a small but significant expression of peace communication, resonating a message of justice and peace,” Ejdersten adds.

“Be not afraid,” says WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in his Christmas greeting. “Our ecumenical service, our diakonia, is needed every day. We are called to be moved by the Spirit.”

“It is time to continue confessing our shared faith in our Lord and Saviour, to continue our Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace together, sharing the good news with all the people. Be not afraid!” Tveit concludes.

Christmas 2017, A greeting from the World Council of Churches (also available in French, German, and Spanish)

WCC Christmas video

African Orthodox Church of Kenya