Monday, December 31, 2007

Wise Men in Soleil

A couple of weeks ago, before Christmas, my father-in-law and I spent some time working in Cite Soleil.

One day we were at a medical clinic/school and witnessed the following scene:

About 50 uniformed kindergarten aged children were at the end of a courtyard and huddled around three other children. One of the three children was a little boy lying motionless on a dirty piece of cardboard. His face appeared quite serious as he stared ahead. He obviously had wet his pants but it sure didn’t seem to bother him.

Kneeling next to him was one boy and one girl.

The teachers were coaxing three little boys as they ambled towards the child on the cardboard.

These Soleil kids were obviously practicing for a Christmas play regarding the Nativity and the wise mens' visit to the newborn Messiah.

Was Jesus birth manger 2000 years ago as horrible as this fetid corner of Soleil?

Most likely none of these children received any toys for Christmas. However, Christmas for these children in Soleil occurs every day when they come to school because they get a big hot metal plate of rice, covered by red bean sauce, meat, and vegetables. This is their only nutritious meal of the day.

Most Soleil children have no Christmas all year long for many reasons. And most children are not in school. Conditions in Soleil should be an aberration and not the rule. All children everywhere deserve to eat every day.

Soleil needs many more wise men (and women) to work out the problems. The best gift for Soleil is justice.

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