Oasis Adventist Church presented “One Starry Night” on Dec. 5-6, as the members recreated the city of Bethlehem to help families understand what the city might have been like the night Christ was born.
The event is open to the public and is well-attended each year, and this year was no exception with 325 attending. The church has been doing the program more than 12 years with Tonya Holcombe serving as director each year.
Guests arriving to tour Bethlehem are greeted by the census takers where they are given a “gold” coin to pay the tax collectors. When the guests enter the city of Bethlehem, they meet a Roman soldier and a tax collector. Once inside the city, the live Nativity Scene with baby Jesus is the focus with everyone stopping to see the humble beginnings of the Christ child.
Children begin their tour by visiting the bakery shop where they shape bread dough and decorate it. When they finish touring the city of Bethlehem, they return to pick up their freshly baked bread.
Other activities include a wool shop where they children do a craft and play a game. There is food tasting in the market place, a perfume shop to sample, a jewelry shop where they make an item to take home, music shop, leather shop, and carpentry shop. There is an activity for the children to do at each stop, as they travel through the village.
One of the favorite stops is the animals where Dr. John and Rita Taylor share their Great Pyrenees dog, goats, and cat. Phil Hobdy brings a donkey that has a cross across its shoulder and back, and he shares the legend of the donkey’s cross.
Holcombe said, “Our church transforms into the town of Bethlehem to give our guests the feeling of what it is like during the time Jesus, our Savior, was born. We love opening our doors each year to welcome the community to step back in time and remember the reason for the Christmas season.”