Pretoria, South Africa

(pri-TOR-ee-uh) – Christmas in Africa is a peculiar thing. First of all, it’s the middle of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and while the stores may decorate with artificial pine trees decked in Styrofoam snow, the shoppers are sweating in shorts and flip-flops. Second, the colliding cultures in the city of Pretoria all have different views on Christmas. The Muslims don’t celebrate anything during the month of December. The Black South Africans, many of whom grew up too poor for the giving of Christmas gifts, view it as a day to drink and carouse. Many White South Africans know the story of Jesus being born in Bethlehem, but few truly revel in the wonder of the miracle, as they are all preoccupied with their (summer) holiday: a vacation at the beach or a camping trip to the game park. Regardless of how or even if these people celebrate Christmas, Jesus has called each Pretorian “out of darkness into his marvellous light” to be “a peculiar people” for His praise (1 Peter 2:9 KJV)! Pray that the Muslims, the Blacks, and the Whites in Pretoria will turn to Jesus this Christmas.