Even though we know Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus, wearing a goofy Santa hat can help believers in Myanmar open up a conversation about the true message of the season.
“When Christmas comes, even the Buddhists are excited to experience the spirit of Christmas. They put up Christmas trees; Christmas decorations are everywhere. So, it becomes a great opportunity for us,” Khin said.
Khin leads a discipleship-mission training program in Myanmar. Seeing people around him embrace the Christmas holiday, he recognizes it as an opportunity to introduce the Christ of Christmas. It’s a time when Buddhists and others who normally reject conversations about Jesus tend to be more open to the message.
“We want to reach them,” Khin explains. “We want them to hear the Gospel at least once in their lives, so we pray together, we ask God to open the way for us.”
Last year, the way God opened was to give the training participants, and several local fellowships access to a local park. Khin said, “This is a very popular place in our city. We prayed, we gathered, and we celebrated there with 120 believers.”
As the group celebrated Christmas by sharing, singing, and worshipping God, many local people, mostly Buddhists, came to see what was going on. Soon a curious and excited crowd surrounded the believers.
Khin said, “They really wanted to know what was happening! In their lives, in their inner man, they thirst for their Creator, our Lord Jesus Christ. They asked what was going on, so we took advantage of the moment to share the Gospel, who Jesus is, what we celebrate at Christmas—the Christmas message!”
God opened more doors for Khin and his team to take the Christmas celebration—and message—on the road to area villages and schools. “We would approach a headmaster and ask to celebrate Christmas in the school and if he gave permission, we would go in with gifts for the students and the teachers, and then celebrate and share the Gospel of Jesus with them.”
Among the Burmese, Rakhine, and Karen villages, most people are strongly Buddhist in beliefs and practices, and generally resist the Gospel that Khin and his team bring. But at Christmas, he says, “This is the best season we could have to get their attention and share the Gospel. We have a meal together and share what Christmas is, and who Jesus is.”
An unexpected invitation from a large financial company gave Khin and those he’s training a rare chance to share the Gospel with those who are wealthy. He said, “It’s very hard to reach the rich people in Myanmar. But by the grace of God, the company requested we come and sing carols and share what we have.”
They held a carol sing with an exclusive group of bankers, financiers, and investors—people who also needed to hear the Christmas message, many for the first time. “We have a good relationship there now,” Khin said, “and we will be going back again to share the Gospel.”
Whether it’s in a city park, a school, a village, or among financial powers, the message of Christmas comes to Myanmar. God uses faithful people like Khin to share the message and fulfill the mission started by Jesus over two thousand years ago.