On New Year’s Day in Asia, much like in the United States, many people celebrate by throwing parties, watching fireworks, singing, dancing and enjoying one another’s company. But not all people are able to celebrate the new year. Women who are widows may be rejected and alone, and extra gifts and treats are out of reach for many impoverished families. These situations can leave people without much reason to feel joyous—even on a holiday.
Sharing the Love
On Jan. 1, 2016, Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported Sisters of Compassion took the initiative to extend love to the rejected, downtrodden people around them by conducting a New Year’s celebration of their own.
Twelve families gathered with the Sisters of Compassion to usher in the new year. Some of the nearly 60 adults and children in attendance had never celebrated any kind of occasion like this before. Sister Anhithi opened with a word of prayer, followed by a welcome speech by Sister Yuktha. Then the festivities began. People gathered around and sang songs of worship, praising God together. Afterward, Sister Aadita shared an encouraging message from Ephesians 4:24–31 called “The New Life in Christ.”
Fullness of Joy
After the service, the families played fun games and held quiz competitions to win prizes. When all the games were finished, the sisters gladly served a meal to those who gathered.
Smiles shone on the faces of those who received these gifts, expressing deep gratitude for their full stomachs and the love and affection they had been given. For the first time in their lives, many of these people experienced the love of Jesus through the care and time invested in them by the Sisters of Compassion.
Two of the women who attended the program, Mrs. Kusuma and Mrs. Kunshi, shared what was in their hearts.
“I am very thankful to you all for inviting me to this New Year’s celebration,” Mrs. Kusuma said. “I experienced lots of happiness and joy after attending the program.”
Mrs. Kunshi said, “First, I am thankful to you all for inviting me to this joyful New Year’s celebration. Today I am happy and excited at seeing different kinds of programs being conducted here, and I especially enjoyed the message delivered very beautifully by Sister Aadita. Really, it touched my heart.”
Jesus was represented at this New Year’s celebration by the Sisters of Compassion. And all who participated were touched deeply by the love that was extended to them for the very first time in their lives.