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The successful Christmas Fair at St Richards raised a further £1,300 for Mercy House - see pictures below. Diana Beamish sent this greeting letter on 1st January.
I would like to start by wishing you all everything of the best for the new year. I passed a garage today where the owner, every single day of the year, puts up on a large billboard a daily joke: his mission no doubt and a valuable one at that!!! Well it really made me laugh: it said: "Life is not a rehearsal: Happy New Year!!!" I really laughed - I'll patronise his garage just for that reason if for none other!
We had a wonderful Christmas at Mercy House, as usual and always different. The Combonis Fathers came down as they did last year, as they seem to enjoy our Christmas so much. Sister Fidelis, of our Mercy team, also came. There were plenty of refugees who came from outside, as we invite past residents and others we assist, to come for Christmas. So it is the biggest occasion of the year at our house and every one there gets a present wrapped and chosen with much thought in the days leading up to Christmas. Two years ago Father Christmas landed on the garage roof and climbed down followed by his angel, on a ladder. I wanted to repeat that but could not as we now have two huge solar heating tanks (thanks to the Comboni Fathers) there. Instead Father Christmas rode in on his bicycle followed by the angel Gabriel, whom he had hired as his assistant.
We deliberately chose Jacinto, our teenage orphan from Angola, to be the angel, because everyone in the house knows that he is by far the naughtiest in the house and by far the furthest from what one could imagine an angel to be: he enjoyed the joke himself and REALLY ENJOYED being an angel for a change!!!
Even managed to nick a few of the unclaimed presents into the bargain!!! Father Christmas was Jean Bertraud from Rwanda. Father John (from USA)is in the background of the picture.
Everything of the best to you all.