I told some of you before I returned to Hong Kong that the last three months in the U.S. have been so great that it made me quite sad to leave again.

That is still very true, and I continue to miss family and friends at home as I always do, but I am happy to report that April has been an awesome first month back in Asia as I’ve been settling in to my new job and reconnecting with friends and coworkers.

I will be here in Hong Kong until early July, when I’ll make the move to Shanghai. In the meantime, I’ll be helping out with some projects here at the CWEF home office. This month, I’ve been working on some writing and graphic design projects.

CWEF has many short-term volunteers involved in our projects, and I’m working on a design for some materials we want to produce for them:

  • A service trip bible study booklet
  • A small booklet with basic information about CWEF and space for notes and trip-specific information

CWEF has relied largely on grassroots support up until this point. Most of our donors are friends or contacts made through church and school relationships. As the organization expands, we have begun to seek out additional sources of funding, namely corporate and foundation grants.

Seeking out funding sources and preparing grant proposals will be a small part of my role as service coordinator, and this month, I’ve been working on my first one. The project we’re hoping to fund with this grant is CWLA (Concordia Women’s Leadership Academy), a mentoring program we provide for our scholarship recipients, the majority of which are middle school and high school girls. Here is an excerpt from the proposal:

“These students qualified for scholarships because of their family's financial need, their high test scores, and their desire to continue their education beyond primary school. Once they reach high school, however, some of these young women decide to drop out due to societal, family, or financial pressure.

As a complement to the scholarship program, the CWLA mentoring program provides personal and professional training to these talented young women seeking to find their way in the world. The monthly CWLA meetings also encourage new friendships with students in similar situations, setting up a peer support network.

By providing this much-needed support, the CWLA mentoring program instills confidence in the students, empowering them to continue their education, change their lives, and create a new future.”


I am quite excited as I write this letter because I’m also preparing for a trip to Shanghai this week. On Friday, the migrant school we are partnering with will hold a ceremony to recognize the 15 students who will receive scholarships from CWEF next year. So, I’m heading up to attend the ceremony, meet the migrant school students and teachers, visit potential Mandarin language schools, and meet with future partners at local churches and at Concordia International School - Shanghai. Can’t wait to go meet my new home.