It began to rain on Christmas Eve. The Jiangnan rain, fog and haze make everything in sight shadowy. Step onto a dirt road about 400 meters long, head on to an abandoned factory; go through the door into a room that is a mass of warmth and packed full, a peaceful sight. It is a Christmas party started by Christian migrant workers that is about to begin.
This is the most popular program each year for migrant workers in the junction of urban and rural Jiangsu secondary cities. The Christmas Eve party is festive and solemn and reminiscent of the “Spring Festival Gala.”
Not quite like Spring Festival wherein everyone back home on Christmas day, Christian workers from all over the country working in this city get together. There are young migrant workers, as well as their parents and lively children.
Everyone is carefully made up and what’s more impressive is the excited faces. They prepared to make their own on stage and have the best state of dedication to the audience. Many of them seemed to be middle-aged women but are still well-dressed. This is perhaps the most solemn opportunity a year or even is the only time to perform on stage for them.
The program is mainly dance. The most popular is the fan dance which was once one of the rural church Christmas party’s the most common programs. Today, though they have migrated to cities to work and it is extremely valuable for them to preserve their faith and culture.
A very unique dance got much applause Five Christian couples performed "Beloved," a dance that let people know a better marriage life between a Christian husband and wife.
Then, two sisters performed a cross dialogue, a play of a simple Christian whose classmate ridiculed her belief and called it a superstition. Eventually, her classmate is convinced to accept the faith and their performance garnered warm applause.
The preacher also shared that, in such an era of peace, the Christian faith lets us see the steadfast love of God and gives us comfort and peace. The audience responded with "Amen."
In addition to this program, there were also short sketches and dramas to express the integration of faith and life.
With nearly 20 years of urbanization, the Migrant Worker tide becomes one of the most important phenomenons in current society, and has become the focus of many scholars at home and abroad. Their faith and life are facing challenges of conversion in the environmental transformation process.
Through this Christmas party, the Gospel provides comfort and strength for Christian migrant workers.
- Translated by Lily Ding