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Stories & Blog

First Christmas Party

First Christmas Party

CENTRAL ASIA — The overhead lights dimmed and string lights illuminated the room decorated with ribbons, bows, and a small tree in the corner. For some of the 40 young teachers, this was their first Christmas party ever.

The teachers came to the city from rural villages where no quality education exists. They study for their own education while learning to re-teach the material. After two years, they return to their villages as the first qualified teachers in their region.

In the city, they also get to experience new things they’ve never learned about — like Christmas. The leader of the training program invited Crossworld worker Victoria to kick off the festivities by sharing the meaning of Christmas.

“At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Messiah,” Victoria said to the room full of women. “But it didn’t happen in the way you might expect.”

Victoria pulled out a flannel board to help illustrate the story. Adding piece by piece to the board, Victoria talked about Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and the cows and donkeys that witnessed the miracle. The women listened with great interest while Victoria finished illustrating the manger scene with pictures and words.

After Victoria finished, one of the women spoke up. “I heard Jesus went up into heaven. What is that all about?”

Before Victoria could answer, one of the program trainers yelled, “Because … God! Who knows!”

Everyone laughed at the lighthearted response. Victoria laughed too, but didn’t want to leave it at that.

“Indeed!” Victoria responded. “But between the time He was born in the manger and the time He went into heaven, Jesus lived a perfect life, which is something no person has done before or after Him. People didn’t like the things He said — that we must forgive one another and be a servant to all — so they killed Him. He had all the power of God but in His mercy, He allowed them to kill Him as a perfect sacrifice for our sin and shame.”

The women were attentive during the Christmas story, but now they were riveted.

“After three days, Jesus rose again,” Victoria continued. “He ate, drank, and taught more about God for 40 days. Then, yes, He went up into heaven. And the Bible says that He will come again! Until then, anyone who accepts His sacrifice can be clean before God — washed of all their sin and shame.”

The women nodded in excitement. They muttered their approval and amazement at this story that many of them were hearing for the very first time.

To God be the glory!

Here’s how you can pray for this ministry.

  • Pray for these women to seek Jesus this Christmas and come to know Him.
  • Pray for them as they finish their training and return home — that they’ll bring educational and spiritual transformation to their villages.
  • Pray for the country, which is experiencing nationwide food shortages. May Jesus provide for the physical and spiritual hunger of the people.
  • Victoria and her family are moving to a new country. Pray for their transition, and for godly friends for each of them.

The people in this story are real, but their names have been changed to protect their privacy.

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