Hi - just
a Christmas note to everyone
Merry Christmas ...... fr joe
adults came to visit Jesus when he was a baby:
Shepherds, then Magi,
Easy for the Shepherd kids.
The Angels sang in the heavens and the Shepherd kids woke up and understood. They understood before the adults. Its always that way. So
they listened to the singing and ran after the Star. Ran after the Star with their moms shouting at them:
"where are you going - and get home right now!"
Crazy. Kids waking up
hearing Angels singing and running after a Star. Looking for Joseph
and Mary and a new born Baby. And
those kids ran and ran across the near-by hills.
And sure they found Baby Jesus and it made sense. At
least good sense for kids.
I imagine those
Shepherd kids came lots of times. For
the Magi, it took maybe a whole year following that Star. But a year is a year. And
I'm sure they brought their kids. And
if they brought their kids, they certainly brought their moms too
to watch the kids. They came
with sacred gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh and maybe a kick ball for
It's so easy. The kids and
moms came too. The Magi stayed a
while: resting. And the Magi kids teamed up with the Shepherd kids and you
couldn't get rid of them. Playing, noisy always
with Jesus. And the Shepherd kids ran away from tending sheep to
play with Jesus.
It started way
back then. Joseph and Mary didn't
turn any kids away. Everyone was
welcome: always something to eat
for Shepherd and Magi kids. The
adults they were expected to pitch
in and help.
Just neighborhood kids and their dads and moms who grew up with Joseph and Mary
and Jesus their baby - and later who became adults
together with the memories. And
some, years later, during the difficult times, didn't understand what Jesus and
trying to teach and do, and a few who did.
Like us. That's what we do. You and me. We walk each year to Bethlehem. Joy, lots of pain, some
death, discouragement. Disappointment in a friend.
No one is really an enemy: just
a friend who doesn't understand or who is going through some bad times. We
walk to Bethlehem. I begin here in
Bangkok City and you in your town.
We've got 160 street kids living with us all over the place -
it costs 40 Dollars a day for lunch money as they all must go to school or work.
But some of the really badly bruised and abused kids aren't ready yet, so
we give them all the time they need. All of them need you to sponsor them, one
by one. We've got four
thousand kids in 32 Slum kindergartens. A
lot of the wooden buildings with their tin roofs are falling apart. We need sponsors for whole schools. The Juvenile
Courts have sent us nearly three hundred kids this year - isn't that wonderful -
a chance to help the poorest of the poor. Some
stay a week, some stay for years. We
never say no to a kid. I guess
that's because someone said Yes to me when I was a kid.
And we've got 19
AIDS kids and a couple didn't make it through the year and they are our new
stars in heaven. Also 73 AIDS adults died with us - 86 went home after they got
We've got a new AIDS hospice and a new street kids hospice.
Some wonderful family donated that, but we need money for water and
electricity. Maybe you could help
there - or even with a school uniform, or a Teddy Bear for one of the AIDS kids.
The eldest is in the 4th grade and
is well for a while - 8 others go to kindergarten when they can.
They are a happy bunch.
Christmas is a glorious story and is real. The Shepherds and the Magi are real, and so are they families, and the Star is real. It still shines, all you have to do is look a bit to see it. Walk with me - let's meet in Bethlehem - maybe we can play some kick ball - maybe we can go shopping with Mary and Joseph - not be tourists but be family.