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Many Thai schools are open to programs and activities from outside groups that help introduce their students to Western culture. The ministry team at Lutheran Hour Ministries—Thailand takes full advantage of this openness and regularly visits schools to present English-language programs or to educate children about selected Western holidays. On seven different days between December 11 and December 23, the LHM—Thailand team visited a total of 13 schools to share a message about Christmas that many children and teachers might never have heard before.

The outreach began early on Thursday, December 11 at the Wat Saardratbumrung School in Singburi, about two hours' drive north of Bangkok. From 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. the team made simultaneous presentations to a group of 79 children in grades 1-6 and a group of 31 students in grades 7-9. After some fun icebreaker activities, LHM team members led each group in singing Christmas songs. Then, while team members showed the animated program Red Boots for Christmas to the younger students, other members of the team led an English-language activity with the older students, discussing various Christmas-related English words that could be connected with letters in the word "Christmas."

At the conclusion of the first morning program on December 11, the team packed up the van and hit the road to repeat the presentation at another school from 10:00 a.m. till noon. After a break for lunch, the team visited a third school and presented the program from 1:00 p.m. till 3:00 p.m. On December 12, the team visited three more schools. The team took a break from their travel schedule on Monday, December 15, but then from Tuesday the 16th through Friday the 19th, they visited 5 schools. Finally, two morning presentations and one afternoon presentation on Tuesday, December 23 concluded their schedule. Along the way they were able to build relationships with children, teachers and local church leaders. Most importantly, they had taught more than—wait for it— 3,100 students the truth that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

One of the team's more memorable stops was at Anuban Saladang School in Saraburi Province, where the LHM team presented to 550 students in grades 1-3 in the morning and 475 students in grades 4-8 in the afternoon; all 1,000+ students sported bright red Santa Claus hats.

Uncommon as a roomful of children wearing Santa hats in a Thai school might be, LHM—Thailand Director Boom Ekwanit Denow says it's not surprising that the children would be familiar with Santa Claus. "Usually they know something about Santa and reindeer," she says. "But very few associate Christmas with Jesus.

"Our team always enjoys doing the Christmas School Outreach Program," Boom says. "It's a lot of fun doing the activities and Christmas songs with the students. And we thank God for the opportunity to clearly proclaim the Gospel to so many students and teachers!"

Want to learn more about the dynamic outreach of Lutheran Hour Ministries—Thailand? Visit lhmthailand.wordpress.com.

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