A few years later missionary friends of mine working in Krygyzstan had the idea of encouraging a local family to raise money to rebuild their house which had been badly damaged. My friends advertised this among their contacts and supporters. It was definitely a win-win! The money raised helped a needy family and the Nativity set is a beautiful work of art and a labour of love.
Then another friend gave me one she brought back from Bolivia. I don't know the history behind this one but the image of a broken clay pot with light shining through is symbolic in itself. The expressions on the faces of Mary and Joseph suggest that this was an amazing experience!
By now I was on the lookout for other international depictions of the Nativity. I spotted the next one in a shop run by the Good Shepherd Sisters (a bit like a Trade Aid shop). I was told it came from Peru and seems to be intricately carved out of a single piece of marble-like stone. It is the size of a large egg.
Recently Anthea was given a Nativity set from Rome. This one is even smaller and set inside a tiny cup shape.
It's a pity these only have a short time on display in our house but I hope they give pleasure to you as well!