Christmas in Keperra put on by the Keperra Baptist Church is a big production. Basically it starts on Sunday and goes for the whole week to Friday.

Sunday started at 4.30 with activities for children (face painting baby animal farm…)

At 7pm the church filled up well and truly to overflowing for a Christmas play and carols. The performance must have lasted at least an hour with scenes of the play interspersed with carols. Professional effort by the Drama Team. There had been a lot of work and preparation with stage scenery a long panel of stage lights hanging from the ceiling.

The audience said as much about the church as the performance. We were seated beside a young man in a wheelchair severely disabled and groaning deeply from time to time. Kids in shorts and t-shirts were running in and out. This is a very young church. It later became apparent there were a huge number of kids present. Kids with glow bangles on their wrists roam in and out. The church is densely packed. Parents are holding babies and little kids. Pushers come past. Crowds of toddlers hover with painted faces. A late term pregnant mother-to-be carries a child on her hip. A baby with a Santa hat is carried out.

Meanwhile back on stage singers perform a rap carol.

Archangels Gabriel and Michael set out to train a new angel in announcing good news. A pregnant Mary and Joseph in simple striped clothes and head cloths and sandals enter. Mary is very pregnant. The spotlights pick them up. They lay their baby in the manger. 3 kings appear. Shepherd’s appear. Outside the church lambs baa urgently!

Videos are shown. A pictorial representation of the Genesis creation story. Slide 1 = light. Slide 2 = sky + water. Slide 3 = land and so on. A stark contrast with the amazing science programs on TV.

A video of local parishoners and the pastor each answering questions about how long is eternity and what happens there. The children’s answers about eternity have lots of really really really longs in them. We are told to make every hour of every day count.

Then a whole crowd (19) of little father Christmases emerges onto the stage to sing Feliz Navidad.

They sing:
More than Christmas trees
More than families
More than presents
We need Jesus.
More than Christmas lights
More than carol nights
More than good times
We need Jesus.
Merry Merry Christmas
Come and find forgiveness
Jesus Christ the King is born.

Cheers. Clapping. Whistles. Applause. Atmosphere plus.

The pastor takes the stage and hands out lots of thanks to people by name and teams who have done the hard work.

He finishes with a prayer and Merry Christmas from the church to you.

The crowd emerges to a huge repast provided by The Hospitality Team. Another person in a wheelchair emerges. An old lady with a walking stick finds her way out. This church is kind to real people. The fairy floss machine starts up. The urn is hot. Lots and lots and lots of kids and people are milling chatting happily scoffing food.

Christmas in Keperra continues on as cafe nights with viewing of the Christmas light display in the grounds of the church all week from Monday to Friday.