• Joe Stoltenow

Christmas Cambodian Style

Outside of our annual dental clinic, our Christmas celebration at Ray of Hope is our largest event of the year where we bring in the families of the street kids, and 2018 was no certainly exception. With over 30 family members in attendance it was definitely our largest single day event we’ve ever had.  The celebration went marvelously and everyone, street families included, had the most wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus together. I am usually unsure of the parents religious beliefs as most of them are traditionally (but not practicing) Buddhist, with few exceptions, so it was truly an amazing opportunity for us to teach them about Christmas and why it is important to us as Christians. What’s even more amazing was how receptive they were to hear our message and join with us in prayer. 

   For those of you who are unfamiliar with Khmer culture, Christmas is a relatively new holiday celebrated in Cambodia, having only started to gain traction with the general population within the last five years. For Khmer Christians, Christmas is celebrated very much in the same way Christians in America celebrate, although usually on the Sunday before Christmas and not actually on December 25th.  For the rest of the country only the commercial side of Christmas is celebrated with everyone putting up Christmas lights and artificial Christmas trees as well as having a somewhat bizarre fascination for Santa Claus.

 Check out the pictures below to see how much fun we had celebrating Christmas with the street kids and their families.

The Students preforming a Christmas song for their parents.

Viya and Vimol lead the parents in prayer.

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