On December 16 the LHMT team moved to the city of Petchaburi and conducted the Christmas School Outreach Program in two schools. The schedule in Petchaburi was organized by Pastor Chaowarit Kusawadee from the Petchaburi Full Gospel Church. From 10:00-11:30am the team did the program for 200 students at Petchaburi Technical College. Although these students were older than those in all of the other schools, they still enjoyed learning the spelling Christmas, singing the Christmas songs, participating in the activities and receiving the prizes and gift sets.
After lunch the LHMT team went to Suwanrangsarit School, where 600 students from primary grades 4-6 and junior high grade 1 participated in the songs and games. Instead of showing a Christmas video, the team did the activity of spelling Christmas and using each word to start another word that helped explain the true meaning of Christmas. This time the program wasn’t conducted in a regular school meeting room. It was somewhat unusual for the LHMT team to clearly tell how Christmas was about Jesus coming to the earth, being born as a baby and then suffering and dying for the sins of all people, as the students packed a ceremony room in the neighborhood temple.
Among the students were 10 boys wearing the saffron-colored robes that indicated they were doing their special study with the temple monks. In one corner of the room stood a very large image of Buddha. These were very clear reminders of the great need to share the true meaning of Christmas with the people in Thailand.
The school outreach schedule ended the next day, as the team did its final presentation of the trip at Praemrudee School in Petchaburi. From 12:30-2:00pm 107 students in primary grades 1-6 had fun singing, watching the puppet show and “Red Boots for Christmas” video, and receiving their prizes and gift packets.
After each presentation the LHMT director and staff received many positive comments from the students, teachers and school principals. Several principals asked if LHMT could return to their schools next year to do another Christmas program or to come at another time of year to do some other program. Some teachers said they would like to share this information with students in other classes, who weren’t able to attend the presentation. A few English teachers wanted to get copies of the words and music for the beautiful Christmas songs, so that they could teach them to their students. One principal asked if it would be possible for LHMT to do an English camp at his school sometime before the end of the school year or during the school break.
Although the schedule of the Christmas School Outreach Program was very busy, the LHMT team was very thankful for the positive feedback they received and about the many things that God already had accomplished through them. They were most excited about being able to share the true meaning of Christmas with nearly 3,000 students, teachers and parents in twelve schools in Guiburi District in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province and Muang District in Petchaburi Province. But, they also were happy that so many more people now know about Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand, that they were able to start some good relationships with the school principals and teachers, and that they helped the local churches make connections with the schools in their communities.
The LHMT team pray that many of the teachers and students will accept the pastors’ invitation to join them in their churches’ Christmas activities and look forward to hearing from the pastors and church members as they do their follow-up activities with the schools in the coming months.