Thomas Awiapo

Merry Christmas from Thomas Awiapo

Frosty roof tops, glistering sun rise, blissful sounds of Christmas carols echo everywhere, advent surrounds us as we wait for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.

Growing up as a child in a small little village in Ghana, Christmas day was always awaited with great expectations. It was the only day I was sure of eating rice with meat, wearing new clothes and treated to a lot of local good music, drumming and dancing in my village market. These were the indicators of a good Christmas to me at the time. As a child with very little resources, I was always on the receiving end and thank God people were kind and generous.

Now as an adult and a Christian, Christmas evokes the birth of a new born child who blesses the world with higher gifts, the gifts of peace and love. Christmas is a period that invites us to draw closer to God and ask Him for forgiveness for our shortcomings. Christmas calls us to love not just our families and friends but also our neighbor in need.

I asked a friend and coworker what his image of Christmas is like and this was what he said, “Christmas is about making people happy and putting smiles on the faces of people. It is about giving and receiving, it’s about blessing and being blessed”.

On the very Day of Christmas, believe me, there will be people in and around our neighborhoods who will be hungry, sick, old, lonely, depressed and hoping for someone to show some love and compassion. As we recount our blessings throughout the year, share meals and exchange gifts with families and friends at Christmas, make sure to put a smile on the face of someone who would otherwise not smile even on Christmas Day.

May you have a wonderful Christmas experience; May you experience happiness and joy in the coming year… Amen!

– Thomas Awiapo
As a child in Ghana, Thomas Awiapo was a beneficiary of CRS school feeding programs. Now, as an adult, he works for CRS Ghana and travels to the U.S. annually to tell his inspiring story to American Catholics at schools, parishes and communities. Thomas will be a featured guest blogger and will be reporting from Ghana about the issues he witnesses firsthand.

Watch the video: Empowered for Life: The Thomas Awiapo Story.

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