Public-School Christmas Programs
One of the most effective outreaches we have each year is the Christmas program we give in the public schools in our area. Nine of the local schools near our churches opened their doors to us this year. Our program consists of a game, an English lesson teaching words from the Christmas Story, a play dramatizing the birth of Christ, and a clear presentation of the Gospel. This year, more than ever, we felt the Devil fighting as we prepared and went out to the schools. However, the Holy Spirit went before us and blessed greatly. After finishing the program at one school, the principal asked if she could speak briefly on our behalf to the student body and staff of over 700. She then proceeded to give this testimony:
Today we heard the true meaning of Christmas for the first time. I am excited to say that I finally understand what Christmas is all about, and I accepted Jesus into my life today! Now I am able to teach the students and teachers why we celebrate Christmas. We cannot thank you enough for coming and sharing this with us.
She also invited our language school teachers to come back and teach more about Jesus.
At another school, there were many Muslim students in attendance. After the program, several of those students approached Missy and shared with her how they were thankful to learn about Christmas and were excited to read the John and Romans so they could understand more.
At each school, we watched as scores of hands were raised, testifying that they had trusted Christ as their Saviour. Around 3,500 people had the opportunity to hear the Gospel through our public-school programs this year, and over 2,000 of those trusted Christ, making a public profession of faith in Jesus.
The houses on the land are in the final steps of completion as we install windows and doors and complete interior work. The next phase will be to start construction on our auditorium. Our prayer and goal is to begin meeting out at the new property for church services by Christmas 2024. We would like to begin construction in the next few months, as it will be the dry season and the best time to lay the foundation and begin the structural work. Would you please pray about this next stage and consider giving? If each of our supporting churches took a love offering or donated, we could add to the giving of our church and team members to expedite the building project.
International Baptist Church Christmas Sunday
Each year, our church has a special Christmas Sunday. Our faithful church members use this event to invite new friends and family who have never been to church. This year, we had three rounds of a program that consisted of a Christmas song special, the Christmas drama, and a Gospel presentation. The auditorium was packed out each round, with people standing and children sitting on the floor. God used this year’s programs to reach over 540 people. About 300 of those were brand-new visitors. Our church members worked hard to serve food, participate in the drama, sing specials, and hand out gifts. Each person in attendance had a choice of four gifts: a bottle of oil, a bag of rice, a blanket, or a strand of Christmas garland. We served a delicious lunch and had Christmas cake and cookies too.
Praise the Lord for the myriad of opportunities available to preach the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ every day to hungry souls!!
• We would appreciate your prayers as our daughter Lauren prepares to leave for Bible college this summer. This will be a big change for us all, but especially for her as she moves to the other side of the world. Missy and Lauren will travel to the States this summer, a few weeks ahead of Mark and me, in preparation for her move to college. We are praying specifically for God to supply a good job for Lauren.
• Please continue to pray for the completion of our building project. Once we are able to meet on the land, we will save over $2,000 a month in renting the six storefront buildings we have used all these years for the church, school, and offices.
• Please pray for laborers within our ministry and from without.
We have felt Satan’s attacks more this year than ever, and yet we have seen such wonderful conversions and more open hearts than ever before. The fields are white. The families of Thailand need the transforming work of the Gospel so that this nation and region can be reached for Christ.
We praise the Lord for God’s grace, God’s wisdom, and your faithful prayers and support, which sustain our family and ministry here.
May God bless you this new year as you continue to serve Him.