In This Issue:
1) On The Road Again: India, France and Senegal
2) Praise & Prayer
3) Partner With Us
On The Road 2018-2019
It has been a joy to share about the work that we are doing with short-term teams from Canada. It has also been rewarding to see the growth within the European churches. Our FACCES family of Chinese Alliance churches are forming short-term teams themselves, reaching out to spread the Gospel to neighboring places. Here’s a sampling of what happened in 2018 – and what is coming up in 2019.
Project Luchi লুচি, January and November 2019
Why Project “LUCHI” লুচি ?
The literal translation of the terms, ‘Ling Liang’ (included in the names of the Kolkata Chinese churches and schools), means “Bread of Life.”
What is “Luchi”?
Luchi (in Bengali, written as: লুচি) is one of the classic breads of the Indian state of Bengal, where Kolkata is located. It is a common deep-fried flatbread, more or less the same as a traditional deep-fried puri.
Ingredients of “Luchi”
It is made of wheat flour that is typical of Bengali cuisine. Unlike the other Indian classic bread, Puri (which is made of whole wheat flour and oil), Luchi is made with refined flour and ghee, making for a lighter, stretchier bread.
Where is Kolkata?
Kolkata is the former capital of India (formerly known as Calcutta) where the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, is located. Kolkata is located in the eastern part of India, in the state of Bengal.
After 12 years of building friendships with the Chinese church in Kolkata (from 2006 to 2018), God has opened the door to further partner with the Pastor, KT and his wife Flo, together with the church congregations, schools, and community centre.
Combined, the two private Christian schools (English-speaking) and community centre (Hindi, Bengali, or Rahri-speaking) have more than 3000 students – 99% of whom are of other faiths
From January 18-28, 2019, we will, again, travel to Kolkata. This time, the trip will include another CMA-IW co-worker, Hans Fung:
Dr. Hans Fung was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Canada. He is a trained teacher and administrator and has experience in both North American and international schools – through serving, directing and consulting. He is an ordained minister under the C&MA Canada, and served at the Edmonton Chinese Alliance Church for five years before he went overseas as an international worker (26 years ago). He loves students and teachers, and has a passion to see schools thrive and impact the next generation and the world around them. His desire is to come alongside schools to help them identify their strengths and areas to further growth. Dr. Fung loves to talk to administrators, teachers, staff and students – to better understand the school’s context-climate and potential, and to empower future development.
Pastor KT and the Kolkata church-team realize that their churches, schools, and centre face new opportunities in the 21st century, especially as they serve as salt & light influencers in the lives of each student and parent that comes through their doors. Therefore, we jumped at Dr. Hans Fung’s willingness to join God’s work in Kolkata when he agreed to come on this January trip (1st time to India!!).
We have also connected EMI (Engineering Ministries International) to the Kolkata Chinese church leaders (as well as to the neighbouring William Carey Baptist Church, located in Kolkata, also in need of building renovation expertise). Click here for more information about EMI and their work. EMI is eager to assist Pastor KT and the Chinese church board, as they think about refreshing their worship facilities, schools, and community centre – to better serve their community.
We also plan an additional trip to India, in November, and will share more in future newsletters (especially about “next steps” and about, even, how on earth God connected us with what He is doing in Kolkata through the Chinese church)! … Opportunities abound for short-medium-long-term ministry partnerships and trips (in the EU & beyond) … With God, there are no borders or walls – especially to do outreach among children, students and their parents; and to also disciple young and old. … So drop us a note if something stirs in your heart and you want to join our teams!
Paris and Bordeaux
Outreach among Chinese diaspora and foreign students, March and October 2018
As Europe continues to open the floodgates to the increasing number of Mainland China overseas students studying in France (current quota is approximately 50,000), God is inviting FACCES (Fellowship of Alliance Chinese Churches in Europe & Surroundings – the family of CMA Chinese churches we co-serve with) – to step up to the mission opportunities right under our nose and, literally, at our doorsteps.
Several of our FACCES churches are already doing outreach among students in university cities such as Paris, Nantes, Toulouse, Orléans, Lille, Strasbourg and Grenoble. That’s why, together with a team of national CMA Chinese co-workers, we decided to focus on another university city, Bordeaux (located in the south of France, 600 km drive south of Paris).
After eight years of sending short-term teams from Paris to Bordeaux, the committee welcomed the idea (under the leadership of a French-Chinese national co-worker, Regine Zhang), to join the France Alliance national office (AECM – Alliance des Eglises Chrétiennes et Missionnaires). So as of April 2018, this outreach group initiative was formally established as an Alliance Chinese church. And with our wonderful strong relationship with the CMA-U.S. and their missionaries in Bordeaux, we continue to work closely together and hope to share facilities with their U.S.-Bordeaux church-plant project.
North American collaborations are always welcome! In March and November 2018, we hosted two short-term teams from the Richmond Chinese Alliance Church (British Columbia). Each Canadian team was led, respectively, by Rev. Simon Lee (senior pastor of this Vancouver-area church; in photo, leading a workshop on counseling), and Rev. Raphael Chow (Missions Pastor of the same church).
The Richmond teams also helped in our Paris outreach events: Autumn Moon Festival Lunch Gala (with a Cantonese Opera Singing Group); Praise ‘n Hip-Hop Events; Evangelistic Meetings among overseas university students at the new Bordeaux church-plant mentioned above; and Discipleship Workshops for church leaders (e.g. counseling and Alpha training sessions).
The Richmond team members are in the photo, below, standing in front of our Chinese Social Community Outreach Centre, CCISS (Centre Chinois d’Information et Service Social à Paris) located near our Paris Chinatown Chinese church.
Ministry among the Chinese diaspora & local villages, May 2018
For the past five years, our St. Maur Chinese CMA Church (located in a suburb just 13 km outside of Paris) has been sending short-term teams to Senegal (French-speaking West Africa). We work closely with the local churches, as well as with the Hong Kong CMA Chinese IWs serving and living in Dakar and the surrounding villages. (Recently, CMA-Canada has relocated IWs to Senegal; and so we had the privilege of meeting them and preparing a Chinese feast for them during our last trip to Senegal, in April 2017.)
In May 2018, our team (this time, a joint team from two of our Chinese CMA churches, namely, our Paris Chinatown church and the St. Maur church) flew from Paris to Dakar (five-hour flight). This was the sixth short-term trip to neighboring French-speaking West Africa.
For our teams, it is always a privilege to visit, learn and serve alongside both, the local church national leaders and the North American (CMA-U.S./Canada) and the Hong Kong international workers (Alliance Global Serve, AGS). (AGS has planted a Chinese CMA church in Dakar, and also has, for more than seven years, had other ongoing ministries in village elementary schools.)
Our Paris short-mission teams help lead outreach activities among children in local village schools and neighborhoods: Bible story acting; singing; playing outdoor games; and sharing testimonies at outdoor Sunday services. We also help renovate and paint church facilities; and provide Bible study workshops. Furthermore, when a medical doctor is part of our team, we provide basic health checks to children (eyes, teeth, blood pressure, etc.).
Chinese and Korean visitors seem to be welcomed by the local Senegalese and Asian diasporas, perhaps because we don’t carry some of the historical-political baggage. As well, our young short-term team members are energetic, enthusiastic, and fluent in French — which make serving alongside the locals more special and facilitate communication at a personal heart-to-heart-language level.
Praise & Prayer
1. Praise God for His wisdom, discernment, and courage to persevere during the challenges and adversities of 2018.
2. Praise God for faithful and humble teammates with whom we co-serve along-side. Since our transition to France in 1996, we have had great relationships with national CMA offices across Europe; with FACCES and other national churches and co-workers; and with other associations (including the Hmong and Vietnamese groups). This is only by the grace of God, and testifies to the sweetness of the fruit of God’s Spirit when we partner together in Christ.
3. Pray for us as a couple. We are already sensing a need to re-calibrate & re-focus, and even “count-down” the number of years we have left as IWs serving in Europe. Regardless what “retirement” looks like in (only!) seven-plus years, we are seeking the Spirit’s guidance — to “run” this last stretch … and run it “well.”
4. Pray for health and safety during upcoming trips in 2019. This week especially, pray for Dycke, Hans and KT in India as Dycke has been preaching and leading chapel at the school – and there is an additional outreach to students this Saturday. January 26.
5. Pray for our daughters, Noelle (18 years old) and Pascale (16 years old), especially as we/parents travel and leave them behind in Paris.
6. Pray for Noelle and Pascale’s spiritual walk – as they seek to know Christ. They are on an up & down faith journey, learning to trust and obey, while feeling like temporary aliens-foreigners-sojourners. May they find their roots in Christ, alone.
7. Pray for our French visa papers, especially for our older daughter. Noelle is now required, as an “independent”, to apply for her own visa. It’s quite disruptive to her school schedule and requires filling-out lots of forms and answering lots of “interviews”.
8. Pray for ongoing mediation dialogues with U.S. and Canada, as ongoing and unaddressed concerns need to be resolved, especially as they affect so many individuals and churches and ministries. Pray for intentional and true peacemaking, and that conflict not be avoided, but rather, may truth, reconciliation, and unity be everyone’s heart’s desire.
9. Pray for the upcoming Parents’ Weekend (Feb 1-3, 2019): The speakers, Stéphanie and Pascal YAU, are a young Chinese pastoral couple (the first French-speaking Chinese second-generation couple in France to commit to full-time ministry). They will be encouraging delegates (from their own experience as parents to five children) — to reclaim our God-given and important role as parents (including care-givers such as nannies, aunts, uncles, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, etc.). Pascal and Stéphanie are very passionate and committed to children-youth ministry, and to discipleship. Together, we are discussing how to further support these ministries-topics among the Chinese churches in France and across Europe. Pray as we meet to dream up plans with God.
10, Pray for us as we continue to search for discipleship resource-tools that are available in different European languages (for the second generation) and in Chinese (for the first generation). We are looking into some materials, including:
Partner With Us
We are so grateful to those of you who have chosen to support us in prayer and invest financially in the work God has allowed us to be a part of. The Lord has provided for us through you.
Merci beaucoup 谢谢
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- Dycke and Karyne’s Support: goes to the GAF (Global Advance Fund)
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