When Haruto* went with his son to a Christmas event in their home city of Tokyo, he didn’t expect it to be life-changing.
The event was actually a kids’ Christmas outreach hosted by TEAM missionaries at Christian Academy in Japan every year. The evening usually starts with a craft, a fun activity and some caroling. Then, the kids and their accompanying parents get to listen to the story of Jesus’ birth story.
It was during the storytelling that Haruto became especially intrigued.
He approached a TEAM missionary afterward and asked, “Is that in the Bible — that Jesus was born in a manger?”
That simple question sparked a series of conversations between Haruto and the local pastor. Two years later, Haruto and his family have all been saved and are among the most involved members in their church.
And it all started with a Christmas outreach.
This December, will you pray with us for Christmas outreaches like this one? Pray that even more families will come to know the Lord this holiday season.
1. Pray for good coordination and organization.
Holiday schedules are hectic for a lot of people. Hosting an event that accommodates the most guests can be tricky.
“In past years, we held a Christmas outreach to which we invited the kids from our English classes, as well as the kids in our neighborhood,” write Scott and Kyoko, a missionary couple in Japan. “However, it seems more difficult to organize this again, as families are pretty busy with their own schedules.”
In order to combat the busyness of life, Scott and Kyoko are considering extending the time of one of their regular Englishes classes. This way, they will be able to share the Christmas story with as many of their students as possible, without having to organize an activity outside of one of the scheduled class days.
In our frantic, modern world, missionaries everywhere are coming up with creative ideas like this for organizing holiday events.
Pray that missionaries will be well-organized so that each event runs smoothly. Pray that they will choose days that will allow for the optimal amount of attendees.
2. Ask God to save entire families this advent season.
Many times, parties and events geared toward kids end up attracting their parents, too. And the Advent season is a time chock-full of opportunities to bring up Christ and His role in the salvation story.
TEAM missionaries Debbie and Gerald May are one of the couples that help organize and host the kids’ Christmas outreach at the Christian Academy in Japan. Each year, attendance ranges from 60 to 80 kids and around 20 adults.
“The thing that I didn’t expect when I started helping was that moms and even some dads often attend,” Debbie says. “It really has become a family outreach!”
Pray that parents and children around the world will come to know Jesus through Christmas outreaches. Pray that missionaries will find the right words at the right times to share their faith.
3. Pray that Jesus will not be forgotten in all the holiday buzz.
It’s sometimes easy to get so caught up in party planning that we forget the reason we’re hosting the outreach in the first place. But during this season of joy and festivities, let’s not forget that the ultimate goal of these outreaches is to make Christ known.
Souls depend on it.
“At first, I thought of not coming when I received the invitation. Later, when I was in the chapel, I felt so loved,” said a guest at one of TEAM’s Christmas outreaches in Zimbabwe. “The second time I received the invitation, I was the first to arrive. … I enjoyed the preaching of the word of God. I am coming again this year if God allows.”
Pray that missionaries will be able to cut through the noise and clutter of this busy time of year and effectively share God’s Word. Pray that Jesus will be the focus of all the Christmas events and parties.
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