Greetings for Christmas. Our five- and six-year-old kids invented this glorious dance step all on their own. It’s a kind of a jump-up-and-down thing, which they do until they get tired and then collapse on the floor in laughter and giggles. And then they catch their collective breath, and do it again. They said if baby Jesus lived here at Mercy Centre with them, they’d teach him, too.
And things are not bad at all. The worst problem in the house last night was that one of our boys lost his first baby tooth. It fell out when he was asleep. When he awoke, he couldn’t find it, and he was afraid his Auntie (his only living relative, who is coming to visit him today) would scold him for the loss, you know, for not being responsible. (She won’t.)
For a good deed before Christmas, our little ones sat down beside our dog, who is really old and doesn’t move very fast and doesn’t even bark unless a stray cat gets really close. Anyway, all the kids pulled out the old dog’s fleas, or tried to, so he wouldn’t have to scratch so much. Also they pooled their money and bought him a can of dog food at the store, but he didn’t like it. He likes plain cooked rice better. They also, for a good deed, helped this old man collect some paper and tin cans and a few bottles to sell at the recycling center down the street.
It’s Christmas time and the kids say that baby Jesus and his mommy Mary and Joseph can stay here with us at Mercy Centre if they want to. And I’m sure they can stay at your house, too.
To paraphrase the song, our Klong Toey slum is a “savage place, drenched in Mercy.” Our family - all 173 kids - is safe and happy here. May the Holy Family keep you and your family holy. May your angels protect you in the coming year. And, finally, that famous blessing: May you walk in the shadow of the Rainbow.
Thank you for your support this past year.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Fr. Joe and Our Mercy Family
Drawings by Fluke, a Mercy boy, age twelve.