International (MNN) — Have you ever wondered how God uses
the season of Christmas to change someone's heart and life? We have, too. That's why we asked listeners to share some of their testimonies:
"I'm calling from the U.S. and reading my daughter's
was 2004, and [it was] my first Christmas in Central Asia. At 24, and single, it was [also] my first
Christmas away from home. I put up a few
Christmas decorations, including a nativity scene on my coffee table, with
characters made from sheep's wool and wearing local Central Asian
clothing. I set a Bible in the local
language beside the nativity set. When
my language teacher arrived for our lesson that week, she was instantly
intrigued and began asking questions. ‘Who are these people? What does this mean?'
I stumbled around in the language trying to explain the Christmas story, she
pointed at the Bible and asked, ‘Is this story in this Book?'
I said, and opened to Luke 2. I began
to stumble through the account, and soon she took the Bible from my hands and
began to read it herself. It was as if she couldn't get enough. Then she exclaimed, ‘Maria! Why don't we read
this Book in our language lessons?! Then you could learn better how to read, and
I could learn more about what is in this Book!'
Christmas story was the beginning of a journey into His Word which eventually
led to an understanding of who He was and His plan for her. My first Christmas away from home was her
first real Christmas ever."
"Hey, my name is Perry, and Christmas Day of 1996, I was in a
clinical depression. I felt like God had cut me off, and I was no longer His
child. From that day on, He really began
to prove to me that I was still His child.
"One of the things He used was [my job]. I was working at a radio station, and we did a
blood drive right after Christmas. A guy
came in, and he was really seeking. He asked
me all kind of questions, and I was able to share my faith. We got together for
lunch a little bit after that, and I shared the Gospel.
"He decided to follow Jesus, and that was one of the powerful
things God used to show me that I really was His child. I will never forget
"I have a ministry in Uganda, Africa. In 2007, we took a
team to Uganda, and in spite of our plans, God directed us to make contact with
some street children. We went to the street and met them before daylight,
three different mornings around Christmas that year.
"That was the beginnings of our present ministry: 136 children in
an orphanage there. More than 100 of them have come to Christ since that time. We
are now discipling them, teaching them, getting them to school, feeding them, and
giving them medical care.
"God has truly blessed in an amazing way. Now, over three
years later, we see the results of His work and His plans from that Christmas three
"Thank you for your time. Elpis Ministries is the name of our ministry. Elpis is the Greek word
for ‘hope.' We are trying to give the hope of Christ to children who have no
parents, some of them with no family at all."