Learning about Jesus through the Christmas School Outreach Program

Christmas Presentation at Triam Udom Suksa Nomklao Kabinburi School

Ms. Goongunya Pantasane is a 17-year-old student in grade 11 at Triam Udom Suksa Nomklao Kabinburi School in Prachinburi Province.

When Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) did a Christmas School Outreach project in her school in December 2016, Ms. Goongunya heard the true meaning of Christmas and the story about Jesus for the first time.  She was fascinated by the story and immediately became interested in learning much more.

Mx. Goongunya says, “Through the LHMT Christmas outreach activity this past year I got to hear about Jesus Christ.  I want to learn more about Him.”  So, she applied to study our LHMT Children’s Bible Correspondence Course (BCC).  When our staff asked why she didn’t study the adult BCC instead, Ms. Goongunya replied that she preferred to study the Children’s BCC first.  Then she plans to study the adult BCC after finishing the Children’s BCC.

Our LHMT staff talked with a husband and wife who started Baan Piamrak preaching station near Ms. Goongunya’s school.  To follow up after our School Outreach Program they contacted Ms. Goongunya and visited her school.  The school administrators asked them to help all of the students learn about Christian values.  When the husband and wife began teaching Christian values at her school it was a good opportunity for Ms. Goongunya to learn more about Jesus.

Ms. Goongunya went to worship God at the preaching station and signed up to begin receiving encouraging Gospel text messages from LHMT on her mobile phone.  About our text message program she said, “Through the Gospel text messages I am getting good information about God and I’m receiving encouragement for my daily life.  I want to learn as much as I can about Christianity and God.  I feel like I now have happiness knowing that God is taking care of my life and, most importantly, I know that Jesus came to the world to save me from my sin.”

We pray that God’s Word will continue to grow in her life.

 

Christmas School Outreach in Nakhonnayok Province

The last day of our 2-week Christmas School Outreach program for 2016 was December 22. The last 2 schools we visited were both in Nakhonnayok Province. In the morning our team was at Wat Koh Ka School in Pakplee District where we did our program for 147 students in grades K-6. A few students from grades 7-9 also participated, but almost all students in grades 7-9 were involved in a sports day. As usual with the younger students, we sang some Christmas songs, did a few fun activities and used the animated Christmas video, “Red Boots for Christmas” to teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Our team was impressed that everything was so well organized and planned very well by students and teachers. The students seemed to pay very close attention and participated very enthusiastically. We also were happy to see that the teachers attended our entire program.

After lunch our team did our program for the 312 students in Wat Nongri School in Ban Na District. We split our team into 2 groups so that we could do the animated video program with the students in grades K-6 and the English activity with the students in grades 7-9 during the same time period. Contact with this school was made by a pastor from a local church, who invited the students to join free classes to learn how to play musical instruments at the church. We pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of the students at both schools during the follow-up activities.

Christmas School Outreach in Prachinburi Province

After spending the weekend in our homes back in Bangkok, our team started the second week of our Christmas School Outreach program by driving to Kabinburi District in Prachinburi Province Monday morning, December 19. After lunch we did the Christmas songs and fun activities for the students at Wat Kok Udom School. We used the animated Christmas video for the 245 students in grades 1-6 and the English activity for the 30 students in grades 7-9. At the end of our time at the school we received a very nice message from a student representative. She said thank you to our team and the husband and wife from the preaching station who coordinated our schedule in Kabinburi. After mentioning how much the students enjoyed the fun activities she told us that she was happy to know the true meaning of Christmas, so she can share it with her friends and family members.

After lunch we traveled to Rutaitip School where all 516 students are in grades 7-12. Because the group was so large the teachers divided the group into 2 smaller groups and we did back-to-back presentations of the”Christmas” letters activity. We thank God that we had a chance to do our Christmas activities in Christian    schools. Because we discovered that many of the students didn’t understand the reason why Christians celebrate Christmas, we were very happy to share the good news of the birth of Jesus with them.

December 20, 2016 was the busiest day of our 2-week Christmas School Outreach program. We did Christmas activities in 3 schools in Na Di District in Prachinburi Province. Our day began at 8:30 a.m. at Ban Noansaensuk School where we sang Christmas songs, did a few fun activities and used the animated Christmas video to teach the 85 students in grades K-6 about Christmas. We were happy to see the school director and teachers join us for our entire 90-minute program. The school director even recorded two of our Christmas songs, since he had never heard them before. The end of our time at the school was very special when the students sang a thank you song to us.

The next stop on our morning schedule was Chumchon Ban Samphanta School. The 142 students in grades K-6 were patiently waiting for us to arrive. We repeated the program that we did at Ban Noansaensuk School. The students very eagerly joined the activities. They especially enjoyed seeing 3 of their students in a simple skit with our team. Again we were pleased that the school director and teachers participated in our whole program.

After lunch we traveled to Maneesawetuppatam School. We again sang the Christmas songs and did the fun activities, but for the 736 students in grades 7-12 we used the English activity to explain how Jesus is the reason that we celebrate Christmas. Even with such a large group of students our program went very smoothly. The students participated well and some of them already knew many of the English words we used during our activity. The day before our team arrived at the school, 8 small groups of students had each done a special Christmas decoration in booths around the school gymnasium. Although most used images of Santa Claus, one indicated that joy, peace and love were connected to Christmas. Another booth even incorporated John 3:16 into their decoration. We were very surprised to see that. At the end of our program an eleventh grade student from that group introduced herself to our team. Her name was Nim and she told us that she is a Christian. When we asked, she confirmed to us that she is the only Christian in her school.

Although we visited only 1 school on December 21, 2016, we did 2 presentations. Our first program at Triam Udom Suksa Nomklao Kabinburi School in Kabinburi District, Prachinburi Province began at 8:30 a.m. We did our usual 90-minute program that included singing Christmas songs and doing fun activities and then used our English Christmas activity with the 555 students in grades 7-9. As soon as they left the meeting hall the 678 students in grades 10-12 came in. We did the same program with the second group of students. They seemed to understand English quite well and enjoyed participating in the activity. Most of the students in both groups knew something about Santa Claus, but they did not know that Christmas was a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Prior to beginning our presentations the school gave awards to students who had won an English competition about Christmas and to the winners of an art competition about Christmas. Santa Claus was in all of their pictures. But now they know the true meaning of Christmas. After lunch we rode in the van to Nakhonnayok Province to prepare for the final day of our 2016 Christmas School Outreach program.

Christmas School Outreach in Phetchaboon Province

On December 15 we had the unusual experience of doing our Christmas School Outreach program for 2 Christian schools, both in Lom Sak District in Phetchabun Province. Although these are Christian schools, most of the students are not Christian. In the morning we were at Sirin Christian School where we divided the 668 students into 2 groups. Some of our team used a Christian animated video with the students in grades 1-6. The children really enjoyed the Christmas songs and fun activities. At the same time the rest of our team did our presentation for the students in grades 7-9 using the letters in the word “Christmas” to explain the true meaning of Christmas.

Khao Kho District in Phetchabun Province was the area where we conducted our Christmas School Outreach program on Friday, December 16. We used an animated Christmas video, some Christmas songs and a few fun activities to tell the children in 2 rural schools about the true meaning of Christmas. In the morning we were at Na Yao School where we enjoyed our time with 204 students in grades 1-6.

We visited Ban Huay Khon Had School after lunch and did the same program with the 109 students in grades 1-6 there. We thank God for safe travel to the schools and on the nearly 6-hour ride back to Bangkok. We also are very thankful to the pastor and members of Ruam Nimit Church for coordinating our schedule in Khao Kho  District.

 

Christmas School Outreach in Chainat Province

On December 13, 2016 our director and staff and LCMS missionary, Dennis Denow, the husband of our LHM Thailand director, traveled to Rajaprajanugroh 46 School in Muang District in Chainat Province.  This was the first day of our 2016 Christmas School Outreach Program.  Using Christmas songs, some activities and an English activity our team shared the true meaning of Christmas with the teachers and 272 students in grades 1-6 and 537 students in grades 7-12.

On December 14, 2016 our team visited a second school in Chainat Province, Wat Ruongwua School.  We split our team and separated the 167 students into 2 groups.  For the group of students in grades 1-6 part of our team used the animated video, “Red Boots for Christmas.”  They did a fun Christmas skit and a few activities to check that the students understood the video.

At the same time the rest of our team did a program for the students in grades 7-9.  This group did an English activity that used the letters in the word “Christmas” to share the true meaning of Christmas with the students.  A few follow-up activities were used to check that these students understood the message.  All of the students came together again to sing some Christmas songs and to receive our gift sets, some snacks and lunch from Chainat Church.

We are thankful to the leaders and members of Chainat Church for organizing our visit in Chainat Province and assisting us with our program. We enjoyed working with Chainat Church and building a deeper relationship with them.  We pray that God will bless them as they do some follow-up activities at the school.

LHMT Preparing to Do Annual Christmas School Outreach

One of the main ministry activities of Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) each year is our Christmas School Outreach program.  Every December our director and staff visit schools in different parts of Thailand to share with the students and teachers the true meaning of Christmas.

Over a period of 9 days this year our team will travel to 13 government schools in central and northeastern Thailand.  We expect to do our Christmas presentation to more than 5,000 students and teachers.  Many people in Thailand know something about Santa Claus, but have never heard the name of Jesus.

Due to the recent death of the king of Thailand the country is still observing a time of mourning.  To honor the Thai king and to be sensitive to the sadness the people are experiencing, we are modifying our Christmas presentations this year.  In the past we have included many games and fun activities with the students.  This year the atmosphere of our presentations will be more subdued, but we will continue to tell them about Jesus and highlight the joy that we have because Jesus was born to die for our sins.

Please pray for our team on December 13-16 and 19-23.  Please pray for safe travel and that the Holy Spirit will open the minds of the students and teachers to understand who Jesus is and why He was born.

Christmas School Outreach Program in Nakhon Nayok Province – December 21 and 22

Students showing LHMT materials they received.

Students showing LHMT materials they received during the Christmas School Outreach Program.

The final two days of our Christmas School Outreach Program for 2015 were December 21 and 22 in Nakhon Nayok Province.

Monday morning we conducted our Christmas program for 241 students in grades 7-9 in Pakpleewittayakan Nakhon Nayok School.  From 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon we led the children in singing Christmas songs and doing some fun activities and taught them the true meaning of Christmas.  Through our English activity that uses the letters in the word “Christmas” to explain who Jesus is and why we celebrate His birth at Christmas, the students heard the Gospel for the first time.

After lunch we did the same program with the 174 students in grades 9-12 at the school.  Our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) team was impressed by the ability of the students to understand and use English and by their good behavior and eager participation in our Christmas program.  The school director and teachers were very happy that their students enjoyed our program so much and had a good opportunity to practice using English.

On Tuesday, December 22, our LHMT team traveled to Nawamarachanusorn School Nakhon Nyok Province to share our Christmas program with the students in grades 7-12.  In the morning 531 students attended our program and another 268 students attended in the afternoon.

This school emphasizes having the students learn English through a special English program, so the school director and teachers were eager to have us use our English activity to teach their students about Christmas.  The students listened intently when we told them who Jesus is and what He has done for them and they knew the answers to our questions at the end of the activity.

We are very thankful to Ajarn Ratchanee Janwongthong from Baan Suwan Aden Ministries for arranging our visits to the schools in Nakhon Nayok Province.  We also appreciate  the help that she and others who work with her gave us during our presentations and for the follow-up activities that they will do with the students.

Most of all, we thank God for giving us the opportunity to do this Christmas School Outreach Program again.  It is a privilege and joy for us to be able to clearly share the Gospel with students, teachers and school administrators in government schools in Thailand.  We pray that the Holy Spirit will work in their hearts and minds, so that they will remember what they learned about Jesus and that they will come to know Him as their Savior.

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