Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Celebrations

What better time to share the GOOD NEWS of JESUS CHRIST than the season we celebrate His birth? What better time to tell the TRUE meaning of Christmas? What better time to teach about the RESURRECTION? If Jesus had not resurrected from the dead, we would not be celebrating His birth! What better time to reach out to neighbors, strangers and the poor? Blessings abound! 
I spent weeks discerning God's plans for this month. I don't want to miss an opportunity to share about our SAVIOR. God gave us the GREATEST GIFT of all -His Son Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for our sins and took our punishment on the cross so many years ago. He lived, He died, He was buried, and on the third day he ROSE again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He has promised those of us who believe only in HIM that we have the GIFT of ETERNAL LIFE. What better reason to celebrate

Below are some photos from recent celebrations. Please pray for the people you see:
Candlelight Caroling Service at Christ Church.

Moms and Friends Christmas Party -receiving NTs for their gift! I also gave them a list of all the women we've studied and where to find their stories. Mary Magdalene's stories helped illustrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The ladies brought different regional foods. They told me to bake a cake and cookies.

Enjoying the delicious food. I made a Birthday bundt cake for Jesus.

At another celebration in a nearby town, I helped the ladies make Christmas story bracelets. I also gave them gospel bracelets to help them share the story.

These ladies learned how to share the Christmas Story orally. Now they have two bracelets to help.
 Big Girls Bible Club members were allowed to bring their siblings and family members to their party. I had a mom read the story through first in Hindi, because some of the siblings don't understand English well yet. Then, with a few pillow cases, ribbon, kurtas, and a lot of duppattas, we had costumes to act out the first Christmas.
The angel visits the shepherds with the Good News. The little ones played the sheep!

The shepherds come to adore the baby Jesus.

Mary and Joseph are visited by three wise men.

Awwww, what a cute little black sheep lovin' on the baby Jesus!

After hearing the whole story of Jesus Christ, the kids acted out the story of the FIRST Christmas, then made a nativity craft.
The older kids made nativity ornaments from kits donated by faithful friends. Thank you!

Other kids made foam craft nativity after hearing the story of the first Christmas, and acting it out as well.

We played a pass-the-gift game, "Christmas With the Right Family."

Goodies for our Jesus Birthday Party. All recipes are eggless: Christmas cupcakes, eggless sugar cookies, and Christmas fudge.

Today was also Tanya's birthday. She loved it that we sang to her, and she got to blow out a candle. I gave her new crayons and a Bible Story Coloring book. She likes to color just like me! I color my prayers every day!

Jyoti's beautiful daughters came over Sunday to bake for the Women's Self-Help Social Welfare party on Mondday.

                Again, all eggless treats.           

Jyoti thought there would be six children but only one came to the Women's Self-Help Social Welfare Association celebration. We shared the whole gospel story in several ways: through reading from the Bible, through storying, games, symbols and traditions, songs, and crafts.

Playing Bingo with symbols of Christmas

Thanks to those who provided the craft kits. The ladies enjoyed making the nativity craft.

Amrita helped me share the Story and lead songs.

Proud of her craft -a reminder of God's Greatest Gift!

Sining Happy Birthday to Jesus before we eat.

A common activity at Asian parties is to have guests sing a song. Just about everybody sang a song -not Christmas.

Each lady received a gospel story bracelet and practiced sharing the meaning of the colors. Some asked for two to give away. That's the point! SHARE!

Thank you, God, tat I had enough voice to speak at the party. Great opportunities to share His Story and His love. I pray each of these ladies will some day choose to follow Him. I just love Christmas!!! JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Give THANKS to the Lord 
      for He is GOOD; 
His LOVE endures forever!
I feel so blessed to be here serving my Lord and Savior! I am thankful to all who support us in prayer! Thank you for your encouraging words! I love hearing from you! I am thankful to be able to gather (about four hours away from my city) with other American friends and share in this special day. Everybody's bringing food and it will be a special time for all, so far away from our families.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Big Girls Learn About Thanksgiving

Because I will be away for Thanksgiving (PTL), I am sharing the story early. I shared the story of the first Thanksgiving, and how we celebrate now. We played Thanksgiving Bingo, made signs with our favorite giving thanks Bible verses, and made sugar cookie leaves and turkeys. I am thankful to have this opportunity to invest in these girls and share Jesus with them. I pray someday they will each choose Him, but it is their choice. Most girls in this country have no choice. 
Playing Bingo let me explain some of the things associated with the holiday

Making the cookies

Babu showing off her verse

Their verses

Eggless Sugar cookies!

I won't see the girls now until after Thanksgiving when we start preparing for Christmas! Yea! Our big party will be on 17 December. The girls will bring friends and family members to this birthday party for Jesus.

Women's Meeting in SJ

What fun! I presented the breast cancer awareness program, "Pearls of Great Price" to a group of church women in a nearby town. Thanks to my home church, I had plenty of gift bags to hand out. The ladies said "thank you!" I challenged them to share the information with family and friends. I will return to that group next month to share again in their monthly meeting.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

New Moms Come to Moms and Friends

I love it when one of the ladies brings a friend. I now have 12 neighborhood women who come to my weekly Bible and cooking class. Usually about 5 or 6 come in a given week. Each week I pray for them and for their families. They are starting to bring me requests. I color a page for them in my prayer book. Most are practicing Hindus but I have more Sikh families that I first thought. I have one Buddhist mom.
Today, I told the same story about Lot's wife that I told to the girls, but I added the part that happened after they fled Sodom and Gomorrah. I also have different applications for the moms.
We made baked potato appetizers in the microwave. They enjoyed this yummy dish.
Take four medium potatoes, wash, peel, and prick with a fork.
In a microwave safe bowl, cook on high for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil a cup of corn with a tablespoon of butter and some salt to taste.
In a small bowl, add 2 tablespons of chopped onion and 1 green chili sliced, seeded and finely chopped.
Add a bit of butter and microwave for 30 seconds. Add to the drained corn.
Slice the potatoes in half and scoop out a hole in the center.
Fill the hole with the corn mixture and top with grated cheddar cheese.
Return to the microwave for 1 minute. Serve warm.
Next week they want to make something with pumpkin! My topic next week will be giving thanks, and pumpkin will fit right in! I want to share some of my culture with them.

Big Girls Learn from Lot's Wife

 We don't know her name, just that she was married to Lot, Abraham's nephew. She is best known for turning into a pillar of salt because she looked back as they were fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah. Wow. High cost for her disobedience! God had chosen to destroy the wicked cities, but because of Abraham's pleading, He spared Lot's family. His son-in-laws thought he was joking, and didn't leave. His wife ignored the warning not to look back, and turned into a pillar of salt. Perhaps she forgot the warning in the stress of the moment, or she didn't hear it above all the screaming. Sometimes we think we have good reasons for our disobedience, but the consequences come anyway.
Today we made colored salt candles from salt, powdered tempera paint, baby food jars, wax, and string.
First, the girls colored the salt in many colors using powdered tempera paint.
 They secured a wax dipped string into the bottom of the jar with playdough. They used a paper funnel to layer the colors of their choice into the jar.
 I melted wax over boiling water and colored it with a blue crayon.
 Once their layers were finished, some used toothpicks down the sides to make designs. Then, I sealed the salt candle by carefully pouring wax over the top.
 Time for a popcorn snack.
 Finished products-reminders of Lot's wife's disobedience. When God says to run, we should run!
 Yanna used a toothpick to make the designs in her candle.
Sanvi is the youngest. Her mom comes on Wednesdays and she just really wanted Sanvi to come. Even though she is only six, she listens well, answers questions, and seems to understand. He mom says she absolutely loves coming to Aunty's house.
This story reminds me of when, as a primary teacher I had to prepare my students for emergencies. We had school-wide fire drills, and inclement weather drills. I told mys students that if we got word, or heard the bell to evacuate, not to ask me if any questions -it didn't matter if it was a drill or not. We would not wait to find out. It didn't matter if it was a bomb or a fire or something else, we would get to safety and then find out. If I was told to get my students to safety, I would do that without asking any questions at all, so they shouldn't ask me any questions. And they didn't. When the times came, and they did, they quickly and quietly followed my directions to exit the classroom to safety.
I guess Lot's wife didn't teach her that.
In the same way, God gives us warnings. We should heed the warning without question, without looking back. He gives us many warnings in His Word. If we know His Word, we can follow it. Disasters still happen today, and we may find ourselves having to leave behind things we love. But in the end, most of it is just stuff -stuff that mostly can be replaced -stuff that is not eternal. What is eternal is your soul, and the Word of God. God has promised His people treasure beyond measure. Remember, He wants His best for you. So when God says to run, RUN!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Delilah & Chocolate Balls

Hannah told me about this easy recipe, but didn't give me the measurements, so I made them up! The Big Girls Bible Club made them last week and loved them. We finely crushed three single packages of Oreos and mixed them with one tub of Amul Creami Cheese. We rolled the mixture into small balls and dipped in melted chocolate. We added colorful sprinkles and chilled until firm. Hannah says she also uses white chocolate. I tried that too, but didn't have any today.

 The girls learned from Delilah, whose story can be found in the Book of Judges chapter 16. Of course we had to learn about Samson, first. Hmmm. He's not the best example for listening to your folks, but it was all in God's plan. Delilah chose silver over the love of her man. Samson teaches us that God has a purpose for our lives. From Delilah we learn we shouldn't cut others down with our words, but encourage their strengths.
For craft, we made a Recipe For Me. I gave each girl a foam card. They wrote three physical characteristics and three personality characteristics for themselves. They decorated them beautifully! I always tell them that there is no one just like them. They are unique; they are special. God has a plan for their lives.

Some of the girls with their finished Recipe Cards.