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SIMpray Kids – praying around the world

Isn’t it amazing that wherever we are in the world, we can celebrate God’s gift of Jesus?

Join us to pray with TCKs serving on seven different continents as they celebrate Christmas.

AFRICA | ASIA | EUROPE | MIDDLE EAST | NORTH AMERICA | OCEANIA | SOUTH AMERICA

CHRISTMAS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

By Josh

Bethlehem by Jorge Fernandes Salas

Christmas is very exciting in the Middle East as we live so near to where Jesus was born! Even friends who know very little about who Jesus is know that it is an important day and we celebrate by visiting each other.

In the run-up to Christmas, we have a family tradition where every day we take a character or animal from the first Christmas out of a box and put them in a little stable and read a verse. Then we like to play with them!

Like the shepherds who heard and spread “the good news of great joy that will be for all the people” please pray for the believers here that they would not be able to keep it to themselves.

CHRISTMAS IN AFRICA

By Daniel & Sophia

Image by Annie Spratt

In Ethiopia we have two Christmases! We celebrate on December 25, like you, but Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated on January 7 and is called Genna. People don’t tend to give each other presents; it’s more of a time for going to church, eating lots and playing games. In the lead-up to Genna, from November 25, people fast, only eating one vegan meal a day.

A traditional Christmas food in Ethiopia is ‘wat’ which is a thick and spicy stew eaten on a plate of ‘injera’ – a flat bread. We miss turkey and pigs in blankets! We also miss seeing Christmas lights hung up in the street, say the children.

Please pray that the people in Ethiopia who don’t yet know Jesus, will recognise the light of the world this Christmas. Pray too that the Prince of Peace will bring unity and understanding to parts of the country where there is conflict.

CHRISTMAS IN SOUTH AMERICA

Image by Luix Design

In Peru, South America, the week before Christmas is a time that Lizzie uses to give the greatest gift she can – the message of Jesus – to villages where his name has not been heard before. Lizzie and friends from her church set out early each morning to share hot chocolate, panettone and the Christmas story. People are always very welcoming and want to hear the Bible stories they have to share.

• Pray for protection as they travel to remote villages in the mountains
• Pray people will be excited to hear stories of Jesus and share them with their friends
• Pray for more workers to take the message of Jesus to people who’ve never heard of him.

CHRISTMAS IN NORTH AMERICA

By Abigail & Isaac

Image by Steven Van Elk

A traditional Christmas in the US includes tonnes of lights and decorations, Christmas songs everywhere, and a big Christmas meal. There are lots of Christmas parties (where we give gifts to each other) and charity events during this season.

We love celebrating Christmas, but do miss family in the UK, mince pies, custard and decent snow!

Please pray for opportunities to tell others about the true meaning of Christmas. Pray they will want to know the reason behind all the mangers and nativity scenes in their backyard. 

Pray that the charity drives and giving spirits that are exhibited during this time to continue past Christmas.

CHRISTMAS IN CENTRAL ASIA

Image by Guille Alvarez

Christmas is not a holiday in the country we live in. It is seen as a Western holiday with Santa Claus and mostly just a shopping season. Over the past few years, public Christmas religious celebration has been discouraged by the government here. 

However, for us as Christians, Christmas is a special time to invite local friends to our home to celebrate a Christmas party. At the party we share our Christmas traditions like food and songs, but most importantly we share the real reason behind Christmas – the coming of Jesus, the promised King and Savior. 

As there are no Christmas holidays here, it is still a busy time at school, and at our parents work. Pray for the time and energy to arrange Christmas parties with local friends.

Pray too that local Christians will have courage to invite over friends or family to share the true meaning of Christmas. 

CHRISTMAS IN OCEANIA

By William, Samuel, Matthew & Olivia

Image by Ben McLeod

We celebrate Christmas in summer here in New Zealand. The days are longer so we actually get more Christmas here! We often have a BBQ and go to the beach. While you’re putting on layers, we will be putting on sunblock. We do miss winter in the UK – the cold weather and feeling cosy.

Please pray for the Government here to make wise decisions and that we won’t be locked down at Christmas.

CHRISTMAS IN EUROPE

By Keziah & Naomi

Image by Stephanie LeBlanc

In France, Christmas is normally celebrated on December 24th. Traditionally, people would go to church on Christmas Eve, but nowadays fewer people do. However, they still stay up till midnight with their families, eating nice food and opening presents. They might eat “foie gras”, smoked salmon or oysters, followed by a hearty meal (often turkey stuffed with chestnut stuffing) rounding off with a “bûche de Noël” (a Christmas log).

We love spending time with people, eating nice food, staying up late, and because the French celebrate Christmas on the 24th, we get a double celebration, as we also celebrate “English Christmas” on the 25th! We miss Christmas crackers, which are not found easily over here, and going to church on Christmas morning.

Please pray that people will come to the Christmas events organised by our church (English Christmas Carols, as well as a French Celebration, with a local choir). We are thankful to God for the opportunities Christmas gives us to speak about Jesus in a normally secular environment.


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