Awana kids around the world are sharing the good news of the gospel with their communities this time of year. As we celebrate the birth of Christ in our Awana clubs and in our homes, learn about how Christmas and outreach go hand-in-hand in two other countries.
Even though only a small minority of people in Bangladesh are Christians, Christmas is a public holiday. Streets are decorated with thousands of lights and small pink triangles called “nishan.” People in the cities often go home to the villages to celebrate with their families. Christmas dinner is usually curried chicken, rice and vegetables.
But just a little more than a week before Christmas, another day is celebrated in Bangladesh. This is called Victory Day and marks the date that Bangladesh gained her independence after a brutal war back in 1971. To commemorate the day, businesses are decorated and programs and other events are held around the country.
The Awana clubs in Bangladesh plan a special Victory Day program. The program is outreach-focused especially to children who live in low-income areas and even in the slums. The children are welcomed with a t-shirt and a headband and then enjoy games, music and just a good time. But the most important message of the day is that the real meaning of victory is to know Christ as Savior. Many boys and girls who come to the Victory Day celebration continue to attend Awana.
Ukraine has many Christmas traditions and the Awana clubs take advantage of them to be an outreach to their communities.
In Cherkasy, leaders visited neighborhood homes, singing Christmas carols and handing out small gifts. They used the opportunity to invite the neighborhood children to Awana and let the families know they were praying for them.
Another club packed Christmas gifts for the children in the war-torn eastern part of the country. They filled the packages with clothes, toys, school supplies and all kinds of things that the children might need.
Ukrainians enjoy drama, so one group of Awana leaders and children do dramas around the city of Cherkasy and in the surrounding villages. Four hundred people saw Luke 2 dramatized, opening the way for even more children to be invited to Awana.
In another Ukrainian club, leaders and children got together on December 18th and made gingerbread cookies. Once completed, the kids wrote messages (in frosting) for children who were cancer patients in the local hospital. Messages included such phrases as: “God loves you,” “Don’t be afraid,” or “I am praying for you.”
These are a couple of the ways Awana kids share God’s love with those around them. What is your club doing this Christmas season?