High School Christmas Outreach
Posted by danneker on January 5th, 2020 | 4 comments
Praise God for the opportunity to do a Christmas Day outreach at the local high school. All went well, in spite of my flat tire that morning, and the school sound system malfunctioning during the games. Everything was back up and running well for the five-minute skit that illustrated the need for Jesus in our lives for true victory over sin. Seven of the eleven actors were teens from this very school. Praise God, the 850 students then heard the good news of Jesus through a powerful presentation by Ajarn Sittichai, many, most likely, for the first time. The teenagers, 7th – 12th grade, listened attentively. We saw many hands go up, albeit partially, when the invitation was given. Afterwards, the church Facebook page received many “likes” that afternoon. God is on the move.
Two years ago, Manao, now in eleventh grade at this school, came to the church’s Children’s Christmas outreach, at the invitation of her neighbor, Bale, who is one of our first believers. Manao was ready to give her life to Jesus at that outreach and I had the privilege of discipling her for the next few months, until we went on our year of home assignment in June. When we returned to Baan Paeo in July 2019, Manao was ready to be baptized. Manao has been actively sharing her faith with her friends at the high school. She began inviting the guys on her co-ed basketball team to church events. Two of them have started on the road to faith.
This past October, Manao asked if we could do the Christmas Day outreach at her high school this year. (Dec. 25 is just another school day here in Thailand, but schools often do fun “Santa Claus” type things that day.) As far as she knew, she was still the only person at this school of 850 students who publicly proclaims to be a Jesus follower. We began to pray that the school administration would look on us with favor when we brought our proposal to them.
After the October mid-year school break, Ed, Ajarn Sittichai and I went to present our proposal to the school. We emphasized wanting to present the real meaning of Christmas. Just days earlier, the school director was reassigned, so we spoke to the acting director. “Oh good,” he said as he looked over our program and letter of introduction, “we were just making plans for our Christmas day program. I’ll give this to the committee. They’ll contact you.” We left, uncertain if we were “in” and began to pray even more.
Several weeks went by with no word. When we went back to the school to inquire, we found out there had been some confusion. We showed the teacher in charge of the Christmas Day events a copy of the letter and program we had presented to the acting director several weeks earlier. She said she had to talk to her committee. We prayed. By noon she called and confirmed us. “We can give you 1 ½ hours Christmas Day morning. We have our own programs after that.” Praise God, we’ll take it!
Things went into action, planning our now tight program of an hour and a half. We prepared small gift packets for the students and teachers that included Gospel literature. We began practicing the skit which would lead into the presentation of the Gospel. Six of Manao’s friends from school were willing to be actors. We prayed for God’s anointing on Ajarn Sittichai who would present the Good News of Jesus to the students.
On the morning of the program, I dropped off Ed, our daughter (visiting us for the holidays) and many boxes filled with the student’s gift packets, and then drove back home for the second load. Within sight of our house, another car was coming the opposite way down our narrow lane. To let them pass, I got close to the edge of the road when I heard a strange sound and then “sssss.” Two neighbors drove past right then on their motorcycles to tell me I had a flat tire. I limped the car back to our driveway and asked the neighbor who has a pick-up truck for help. He graciously agreed. We quickly loaded his truck and we were off. As we drove, I knew it was the Lord. This neighbor had not been home for weeks and “just happened” to be home these last few days. My daughter reminded me after the program was all over that I did not even have my cell phone. I had already given it to her to take pictures of the school event, so I wouldn’t have been able to call for help. Praise God for His provision.
The rest of our team all arrived without incident, around 22 of us in total. Things went smoothly, after the sound system was working properly. It was amazing to look out over the vast audience of high school students that sat neatly on the floor of the school’s athletic pavilion. Now, four and a half years after Ed and I first prayer walked past this school, we were actually inside sharing the Gospel. God is good. He can make a way.
Please pray as we do follow-up. We are now going to propose to the school that they allow us to come in once a week during the lunch hour to have small group meetings with those that are interested in learning more about Jesus. Pray for favor with the school administration. Pray for fruit that will last.