The “son of Satan” becomes the beloved of Jesus
Shasta lives in a majority-Hindu nation, but the traditional faith meant nothing to him.
He was a disobedient and disrespectful boy whose disruptive behavior caused his parents, neighbors, and even his teachers to call him by a nickname: “son of Satan.”
So, he was surprised last Christmas to be invited to a party! It was a Christmas in Asia outreach where he got to participate in a program and learn about the true meaning of Christmas. He even received a gift: the holiday edition Book of Hope called The Greatest Gift.
His sister read the story of Zacchaeus, and told him about it.
“I read that story, which tells how Jesus loves us, no matter what,” Shasta recalls. “And now I understand Jesus loves me no matter what — if no one else does, Jesus still loves me.”
This realization led Shasta to declare, “Now I want to be a son of Jesus.” This is the power of God’s Word to transform young lives. It’s the reason for Christmas in Asia!
Christmas around the world …
YOU’LL REACH 8.8 MILLION YOUNG PEOPLE WITH GOD’S WORD
Scripture engagement programs that will help reach 23.6 million young people in holiday outreaches November and December …
- The Promised One special-edition Book of Hope — Scripture text and illustrations highlight the Christmas story.
- Lumo YouVersion reading plan: The Promised One — The YouVersion app features a Bible reading plan with Lumo Project films incorporated.
- Close Look Project — Check out this digital outreach at www.closelook.org/christmas or scan the QR code now!
Christmas outreaches take place in almost every nation where your OneHope teams are at work — and it is one of the busiest seasons for global evangelism among the next generation!
The Christmas Book of Hope — and 14 families transformed!
He came to the Christmas party at a church in the neighboring village.
A 14-year-old named Anon brought seven of his friends with him, eager for the excitement of visiting a new place and the possibility of receiving a gift!
Anon and his friends belong to an indigenous tribe in the hill country of their nation, which is in a sensitive region with a majority religion and government virulently opposed to Christianity.
They enjoyed the Christmas outreach and were happy to bring home the special-edition Christmas Book of Hope. Anon’s parents can’t read, but they liked the pictures in the book and had him read them the story. They were so intrigued they contacted the pastor of the church where Anon received the book. The whole family chose to follow Jesus!
Anon’s friends heard what happened, and they began sharing the Christmas Book of Hope with their own families … and today 14 families in the village are all following Jesus!
Anon’s family chose to follow Jesus … and today 14 families in their village are all believers!
God’s Word for Japan’s next generation!
Japanese people in Japan represent the second-largest unreached people group in the world — with only about 1.2% embracing Christianity.
Nevertheless, OneHope partners with strong and dedicated churches in Japan plan to reach the next generation with God’s Word.
This year our partners will connect with Japanese children and youth in holiday outreaches. They will be reaching out to children like Haruki, who came to a Christmas in Asia party at a local church and received God’s Word.
Weeks later he came back to church, and the Sunday school lesson that day was about the story of Moses — Haruki raised his hand and shared that he knew the story! He had learned it from the Scriptures he received at Christmas. Today he is involved in the local children’s church.
Small but mighty
ONEHOPE JAPAN ASKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS
Because the Church in Japan is small, especially among Japanese people as opposed to immigrants, our OneHope team in Japan is small, too.
But they are dedicated, and God is using them! Last year they coordinated with local churches and delivered God’s Word to 83,150 children and youth in Christmas in Asia outreaches!
They’re requesting your prayers as they prepare for 2023 holiday outreach. Pray for open hearts among children and youth, cooperation among churches, and for the Word of God to go forth with power. Thank you!
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM YOUR PARTNERS IN ASIA!
Your OneHope teams in Asia and Asia-Pacific want to wish you happy holidays — just scan the code to see Christmas greetings from your brothers and sisters in Christ!
What Christmas in Asia means to us
By Rodel Lacson, OneHope Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands
The culture in Southeast Asia and many Pacific islands is rooted in festivals, holy days, and celebrations. People here are excited about Christmas because of the parties, music, and gift-giving, even though the majority don’t really understand what Christmas is all about.
Churches conduct Christmas in Asia outreaches and deliver the Christmas Story of Hope to boys and girls at Christmas parties with games and songs … and these young people learn the story of Jesus and the true reason for the season!
NATION BY NATION
THE CHRISTMAS STORY …
What gifts do you bring?
MEMO FROM ROB
As I was ruminating recently on the story of the magi going to meet Jesus, something stood out to me in a new way.
“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:10-11, NIV).
These wise men had been longing to see the prophesied Savior, and when they found Him, they worshipped Him — and then laid out their gifts for Him.
I feel like oftentimes we only see miracles as extraordinary phenomena that God creates out of nothing, but Scripture reminds us of something crucial — when we are yearning and praying for something, we can look at what we’re already holding in our hands. God can use your limited resources and talents to do above and beyond what you can dream of.
When my dad first began OneHope, the minister of education of El Salvador asked for nearly one million Bibles to give to every child in the country. My dad didn’t have the money to create and print anywhere near a million Bibles — but he said yes because he felt God telling him to do it.
After praying for a miracle, my dad began using what he already had: a vision to share. God used that passion and vision to move the hearts of those listening, and in 1987 we shipped nine 40-foot containers full of the first copies of the Scripture-filled Book of Hope to El Salvador.
The wise men didn’t journey all the way to Bethlehem to meet their Messiah and ask for miracles from Him. They instead laid out their own gifts for Him to use.
As we get closer to Christmas and our year comes to an end, I pray that our passion and gifts don’t fizzle out and that we give Jesus what we already have and expect in faith that those gifts would increase and be used for the glory and Kingdom of God.
Manish received The Greatest Gift — and it impacted his whole family
Manish’s parents were worried about him. He was experiencing developmental delays — and in their poverty-stricken community, they lacked the resources to get the care he might need or even an evaluation to see what his disabilities are.
They live in a sensitive nation where there’s persecution of Christians and opposition to the Gospel — and they’re part of a marginalized indigenous people there: less than .01% of their tribe confesses Christ as Savior.
When Manish’s parents heard about Operation Christmas Child, the Samaritan’s Purse outreach that provides shoeboxes of gifts for children in need, they signed up Manish right away! They wanted to make sure he got free gifts and any other help offered to him.
OneHope partners with Operation Christmas Child to distribute God’s Word with the Christmas gift shoeboxes, too, so when Manish received his box of gifts, he also received an age-appropriate Christmas edition Book of Hope called The Greatest Gift, in a language his family could read.
And at the Operation Christmas event where Manish received his shoebox, his whole family heard a Gospel presentation, and they requested prayer for Manish, too — plus Manish’s mother had suffered with ongoing pain from a surgery six years ago that didn’t heal correctly …
“The volunteer prayed for our son, and we are already seeing improvements,” says Manish’s mother. “My pain was healed immediately, and many other sickly children in our village are also healed. We saw miracle upon miracle.”
Manish’s mother and father both dedicated their lives to Christ, and they’ve shared their faith with their parents and siblings. Today Manish and his whole extended family are following Jesus!