Big thanks for your hospitality, encouragement and for stirring us up “to love and good works” this summer as Coco and I spent time with many of you in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and California. We were very blessed by this time together, especially since it will likely be 2016 before we get to reconnect with many of you again.
The reason, as you may have heard: we are expecting our first child in early January! We’re now in the 27th week and all signs point to a healthy baby boy. We are thrilled and thankful for this amazing blessing, and for your prayers on our behalf.
In late June, we enjoyed being able to make a surprise announcement of this news in person with almost all of my immediate family members during a perfectly-timed family reunion in Wisconsin.
After returning to Shanghai in early July, we hit the ground running. July is the beginning of our fiscal year, which means working with our staff to finish up year-end project reports while simultaneously making plans and gearing up for a new year of projects.
One of CWEF’s first project activities of each new year also happens in July — our annual teacher training session for REACH, a student development and resilience-building program we are doing in cooperation with public schools in China. For this year’s training, we were thankful to collaborate once again with Chan Hiu Fai and his team of social workers from Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service.
You can learn more about REACH on our web site at: www.cwef.org.hk/what-we-do/education/reach
You can also see some photos of this year’s training by heading over to our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cwefhk
In August, the CWEF team gathered in Hong Kong for our second annual all-staff meeting, with everyone from our offices in Hong Kong, Cambodia and China present for several days of fellowship, worship, celebrating the past year, and looking ahead to the years to come. By the grace of God and with support from you and many others around the world, the CWEF team in collaboration with local government, church and school partners, was able to achieve the following in China and Cambodia during the fiscal year ending in June 2014:
Clean drinking water
- 4973 people at 46 sites
- 63 trained advocates prepared to provide further training to others in their communities
- 368 high school students
- 26 university students
REACH youth development program
- 24 trained teacher advocates provided further training to 221 students at 6 schools
Libraries and other resources for schools
- 7 schools; ~1000 students
- 20+ teams; 380+ volunteers
Awesome. Praise God!
Those of us in China recently wrapped up several more service trips in late September: our annual collaboration with high school students and teachers from the LCMS-founded Concordia International School Shanghai. I had the pleasure of leading one of these teams for an English teaching and cultural exchange trip at a public middle school on the outskirts of Shanghai.
At the moment, we are all enjoying a break from the action for China’s National Day holiday.
Again, thank you all for your continued support of the work we have been given to do here in Asia. We will keep walking forward only by the grace of God that comes through Jesus, and we are so grateful for how he has provided for us, through you.