“Have you ever been to a Christmas party before?” Elaine asked the Chinese students in her Spotlight English Club. None of them had.
The group of a dozen students studying in South Asia met a few hours each week to practice English in a Christian setting. They used Spotlight resources produced by ReFrame Media, the English language outreach of Back to God Ministries International, and its ministry partner Words of Hope.
“I asked if any of them had ever decorated a tree in their house. They laughed,” recalled Elaine. “I asked if they had ever put up a string of lights. They shook their heads.”
Elaine decided to organize the students’ very first Christmas celebration. She encouraged her students to invite their friends and made sure to include the Christmas traditions dearest to her.
Twenty-four people came—a record high for this Spotlight Club!
“There are stories of Santa and reindeer, but today I will share with you the story that started Christmas,” Elaine said to the group. She then played Spotlight’s recording of the Christmas story and passed out scripts so the students could read along.
“I heard them whisper the name ‘Jesus’ just to make sure they pronounced it correctly,” Elaine said. “The most beautiful name whispered in the sanctuary of a classroom.”
Together the students sang songs, opened gifts, and ate traditional shortbread cookies.
“When they joined in on ‘Silent Night,’ I thought the off-pitch and wrong notes had never sounded so sweet—after all, it was their first time singing it,” Elaine reflected.
The students sang a song in Chinese that means “thank you” and carried their gifts with two hands as they left their very first Christmas celebration. Elaine’s prayer is that they carried away more than just packaged gifts—that the Holy Spirit nurtures the gift of Jesus in their hearts.
More than 60 Spotlight English Clubs in 15 countries meet to practice English together. Many more clubs meet online through Skype. For more information on how you can share the gift of Jesus through Spotlight English Clubs, visit SpotlightEnglish.com/sec.