Starting in January, I embarked on a new role with Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation (CWEF), which works to improve the lives of impoverished people in Asia through education and service.
Founded in 2000 by Lutheran Christians living in Hong Kong, CWEF started work in the rural areas of China's southwestern Yunnan province. Today, CWEF coordinates and carries out a wide variety of poverty alleviation projects in mainland China, Cambodia, and Thailand.
CWEF works with communities and governments to identify local needs, then carries out projects in the areas of community health and education. Initiatives like these give people the tools to pull themselves out of poverty and to create a new future.
I will work with a new scholarship project for middle and high school students in the Shanghai area whose families cannot afford to educate them (in mainland China, the government only pays for primary education). As 'service coordinator', I will organize opportunities for volunteers to visit our partner school (see photos above) and serve these students. I'll also work to expand CWEF's volunteer and donor base by building relationships with schools, churches, and other groups in the local community.
As I write this note, I'm in the middle of a two-month stint in the U.S., working to secure financial support for the next leg of my service in Asia.
This period of 'home service' is a little more intense than last year. I have been charged with raising 70% of my 18-month budget ($48,574) before I am able to return to my work in Asia. Daunting, to be sure.
Far outshining that uncertainty, though, are the things I am learning from all the people (like you) that God has placed in my life. You are teaching me humility, generosity, courage, and trust.
That last one, trust, is the big one. It is an incredible ride when you ask God to guide your life and then attempt to follow that direction. I take comfort and gain motivation from Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
What a promise. God also promises in Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
So I will ask. If you feel God leading you to partner with me and with the work of CWEF, please follow that path. Or, maybe you can share my newsletter with a friend who might be interested in supporting my work. Maybe you are a member of a community group that could be a potential partner. If there is anything else you can do to help, or if you have any questions, please send me a message at email@example.com or call me at 573-821-3859.