Côte d’Ivoire: Contrasts at Christmas
By Jenny Mihsill
Turning on the air conditioning at Christmas dinner may not be on your holiday agenda, but with a likely temperature of 90°F, we are looking forward to cool air as we eat our chicken and mashed potatoes! Christmas in Côte d’Ivoire is different in some other ways too.
We don’t see many Christmas decorations around town or hear Christmas carols often, but many people do have Christmas T-shirts or matching outfits made for school or church programs. Churches traditionally have all-night Christmas Eve services that begin the evening of December 24 and end around 5 AM on Christmas Day.
On a recent visit to the village of Bounafla, we asked what they’re planning this year since Christmas is on a Sunday. Instead of the usual Christmas Eve service, they are having a Sunday morning Christmas service. However, at the Church of God in Yamoussoukro, they will have the all-night Christmas Eve service and end it at 3 AM with morning worship from 3 to 5 AM! Many will then return home and have a meal.
Chicken is a special treat that many families like to eat for the holiday. However you celebrate, may you be pointed toward our Savior Jesus Christ. (Rease is pointing out the baby Jesus in our Tanzanian nativity scene, pictured right.) May the Prince of Peace reign in our hearts and in the world! Joyeux Noël! Merry Christmas!
Learn more about Christmas in Côte d’Ivoire at https://www.jesusisthesubject.org/christmas-in-cote-divoire-2/, based on an interview with longtime missionaries Larry and LeAnn Sellers.
Learn more about the ministry of Bobby and Jenny Mihsill, and discover opportunities to get involved, at www.chogglobal.org.
Feature (top) collage: Worship and Children of Promise file images of Christmastime in Côte d’Ivoire. See 2019 story for details.