Since I last wrote in April, quite a lot has happened that I’d like to share:
In early May, I joined a group of my LCMS East Asia teammates for a trip to North Korea. The photo above (#1) is overlooking the city we visited: Rason, a special economic zone on the northeast coast of North Korea near the borders with Russia and China. I won’t go into all the details here but if you are curious, please send me a note, and I can share more with you personally.
New CWEF web site
In May, we also launched the new CWEF web site! Please go check it out at www.cwef.org.hk and learn more about our work in China & Cambodia.
Concordia Leadership Academy
At the end of May, we also attended the last Concordia Leadership Academy (CLA) class of the semester at our partner school - Shanghai Jinshan ECNU #3 middle school. We met with the principal and participating teachers afterward and were very pleased with their enthusiasm for the program. The school has agreed to expand CLA to more students beginning next school year, and this summer 5 new teachers at their school will be trained in the CLA curriculum and participatory learning methods with our staff and about 20 other CLA teachers from Yunnan and Guangdong at the summer training in Guangzhou.
We were also thrilled to hear the teachers share with us that they have seen significant positive development in one student in particular this semester. Yang Rui (#2 above), has always been one of the best students in her class, but only this semester has she begun to develop confidence and the ability to express herself, building stronger bonds with her teachers and classmates. The teachers attributed these positive changes to her participation in CLA. It’s just these type of life skills that will give students like Yang Rui the tools they need to live a fuller life after completing their education.
You can see more photos of the May 2012 CLA meeting at Shanghai Jinshan ECNU #3 middle school on our Flickr page here: www.flickr.com/cwef
A prayer request regarding CLA: We are still seeking funding for the CLA program for fiscal year 2012-2013. Please ask Him to lead us to the right financial partner(s).
In late May, my friend Claire Barco arrived back in Shanghai. Claire was living and working in Shanghai until last summer when she returned to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree in health informatics at the University of Michigan. This summer, Claire has returned to Shanghai to share her talents with CWEF. She’ll be helping us launch our new online database system, which will allow our staff to more efficiently share information across offices. We are very excited for this and very thankful for Claire’s service.
Office Space & Registration
In early June we signed a contract on CWEF’s first office space in Shanghai. Since the beginning of this year, Chen Ming and I have been sharing office space with another non-profit called Compassion for Migrant Children. A very suitable space opened up in the same building, so we jumped on it. This came at just the right time, as we are also now beginning the process for registering a business in Shanghai. This type of registration is necessary for us to be able to give work visas to foreign staff (like myself), since we are not able to process work visas through our Chinese non-profit registration.
As of June 1, I am now a ‘career’ worker with LCMS and have transitioned from Shanghai Service Coordinator to Director of Operations for CWEF! Please ask Him to give me the wisdom and ability to serve our staff well in my new role.
On June 5, I arrived back on American soil once again (#3 above). It is so good to be home and to spend time with friends, family, and supporters. I will be in the U.S. until early September, but won’t be in one place for too long. I am in Central Missouri now but will soon be traveling to Illinois, St. Louis, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, and California. You can see my summer schedule on the Support page of my web site at: http://jwalange.wordpress.com/support. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in person soon!