Friday, January 01, 2010

Christmas 2009
Debbie Colby
Bangkok, Thailand

“Christmas is for preaching the gospel.” - Jarunee Raina

This year, Big C, the main shopping center in our area, invited us to do a special holiday program. We found ourselves stationed in front of Big C’s liquor section, wearing fishnet Santa hats, singing Christmas carols, and preaching the gospel on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

It meant so much to our people to sing Christmas carols in Thai. Thai people have never heard these songs in their own language, so they have never understood their true meaning. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king! Let every heart prepare Him room…” We found ourselves almost shouting these parts.

Jar, the emcee of our holiday event, began by saying, “…How wonderful Big C is…Big C cares for its customers so much that they are giving out free Christmas gifts today….Big C….Big C…..” Suddenly, the background shopping music was turned down and Jar’s microphone volume turned up (Sandon was buying beef and reported that he could even hear Jar in the meat section).

“…..and thank you Big C for inviting us to explain the real meaning of Christmas. Santa is not the real meaning of Christmas! Christmas is about God’s greatest gift to the world. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross to pay for our sins. Salvation is a free gift. You only need to receive it.”

Cashiers in florescent Big C polo’s and Santa hats; Big Bun workers smiling at us and leaning on their Big Bun counter; 20 rows of Big C customers, standing in check out lines: all looked and listened with genuine interest.

The assurance flowing from her heart was captivating. There is no absolute truth in this Buddhist society so a Thai person is unable to speak about anything with conviction and true assurance. But a Thai woman who has based her life on the truth Word of God – give her a microphone and let her speak!

Big C also gave us gifts to hand out to customers and permission to give a tract or, “information about the meaning of Christmas,” with each gift. So we gave away boxes of Pepsi products along with about 500 tracts. And sang Christmas carols and shared the gospel over and over and over. It was the best Christmas ever.