As in previous years the venue was a town in the very neglected
north of the country called Lira. Although the 19 years of violent
attacks from over the Sudanese border has now come to an end the
local population remains decimated by poverty, massacres, refugees
Our partner in Lira for the last 13 years is George Purkweri, known
by everyone in the district as the Pastor of the Poor. In his best
African English George writes,
"I am so much amazed how God worked it all to the success of this
year's Christmas Party for the Poor. I am just happy for your
contribution towards this. It was a fantastic day and the whole
town was shaken as poor people rolled up. Some crawled on their
belly, others came on disabled wheels and others walked toward my
home for their day.
We had 350 disabled people, and 150 people with AIDS, 60 street
children, 200 orphans and war-affected children from Barlonyo where
soldiers killed 310 people in one day, and 140 widows and orphans,
altogether the 900 people that we were expecting, and a lot more
just came. Amazingly there was food and sodas enough and everybody
went home with the gift of second hand clothes for Christmas.
The real touching thing was our guest of honour, Obette Jimy. He is
24 years old but he is a complete cripple and he rolls on his back
to move around.
When he started rolling to come to give his speech every other poor,
crippled, lame and blind person thanked God for being so well.
Another crippled man who walks on his hand came out with 500
shillings (15 pence) to give to him then all the poor people shed
tears and gave something to this man. I too started thanking God for
my legs, hands and every part of my body in good shape.
When Obette talked about Jesus as his Lord and Saviour and the hope
he has, 50 people decided to follow this Jesus. I wish you were
there to see this completely crippled man talking on his belly about
God's love with 1.000 people listening.
The party was so amazing to the whole population in Lira. The news
men and local TV radio presenters put it on their news. It was
wonderful! I do thank God for what you have done for me and for
these lost, last and least people. God bless you."
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