Advent Cards Day 16: The Exchange Student

Thank you for joining Keys for Kids Radio's Countdown to Christmas Advent Activity! Read the story below, answer the questions on the cards, and send us a voice message with your answers! Then you could hear yourself on Keys for Kids Radio as we talk through each day's story!

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“That was a good play,” said José, an exchange student from Mexico who was living with Ronan’s family. They were returning home after attending a Christmas program at church. “I’ve heard a lot about the Bible, but I’ve never been to a pageant like that one.” 

Ronan pointed. “Look! There are some carolers. They go from house to house singing Christmas songs. Do you have carolers in Mexico, José?”

“No,” said José, “but we do have what we call Los Peregrinos. Like Mary and Joseph, people go from house to house. They pretend to be looking for a place where they can stay. It’s planned ahead so that the third one they stop at lets them in. There’s a piñata ready for the children and hot drinks for the adults.”

“Sounds fun!” said Ronan. 

“When we get home, I could show you pictures of that and other Christmas traditions we have,” José said. 

Ronan nodded. “I’d like that.”

Later that night, Dad and Ronan wrapped gifts while José talked to his family in Mexico. “Do you like having José stay with us?” asked Dad.

“Yeah, I do,” Ronan answered. “We’ve studied Mexico at school, but learning that way isn’t the same as knowing somebody who’s from there. Having José live with us and listening to him explain what people were doing in the pictures he showed me is a better way to learn.” Ronan fastened a bright red ribbon to a package. “If I had just read about Mexico but had never met José, I wouldn’t know half as much about his culture as I do now.”

Dad put down his scissors and tape. “You know, it’s the same with knowing Jesus too. Just knowing things about the Bible is much different from having a personal relationship with Jesus and trusting Him with every part of your life.”

“Yeah,” Ronan said thoughtfully. “I think we should explain that to José. He seems to know quite a bit about the Bible, but we should make sure he understands why Jesus died and that he needs to know Him personally.” Ronan paused. “I’ll try to talk to him some more about it when I get a chance.”

“That’s a good idea,” Dad said. “I’ll do the same.”

So how about you?

Do you know Jesus personally? Do you trust Him as your Savior and Lord? Studying the Bible is great, but just knowing Bible stories, facts, and verses is not enough. You need to understand that you’re a sinner who is unable to earn your own salvation and that Jesus died to pay the price for you to have eternal life. Trust Him as your Savior. Learn more at

Key Verse

Philippians 3:10 “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.”

Key Thought

You can know Jesus personally.

Further Reading

Ephesians 3:14-21

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