Passing the Baton
After 13 years operating as Charis, a foreign-owned company, as our platform in China, it is time for us to move out, close down the operation, and allow the national co-workers to carry on the work – perhaps, first as individuals, and later, in partnership with others of like-mind. Most of the nationals have been with Charis for over 10 years. We have served, learned, and seen God’s grace and mercy together. Our friendships, albeit limited by time and distance, will continue. By using WeChat and Skype communication platforms, it is possible for us to continue to coach and support the nationals in their new ministries.
We continue to be amazed by His faithfulness as we have recounted and reflected on the thousands of people we have shared our lives with. Together we have sowed the Kingdom seeds through our community development programs, namely by:
Providing small loans to villagers;
Introducing "Reading Aloud” to village teachers and students;
Re-introducing Sustainable Agriculture Land Technology to farmers; and
Liaising foreign medical services and the local hospital to provide orthopedic and plastic surgeries to less fortunate patients.
But most of all, while interacting with the individuals and families, we were able to share our personal stories and more importantly, Jesus’ story of why our Creator loves us.
Walking Together – Life Touches Life
Paul urged Timothy, "Continue in what you have learned." 2 Timothy 3:14. That is what we should always do with the good things we have learned—abide in them, keep them in our hearts—then live them out. A great many people know a great deal more truth than they put into practice. The true test of knowing—is doing. It is our hope and prayers that the national staff will continue to do what they have learned.
Charis Board’s Analysis and Decision
There were a series of events and circumstances that have led the company’s board to come to a unanimous decision to close this chapter of Charis’ Ministry. Allow me to share some key points of the Board’s analysis with you:
Political Conditions - By God’s grace, for the past 13 years we have operated as a wholly-foreign owned for-profit consulting company. This has been a creative way of staying in the country and doing the things that we were called to do. We witnessed in recent years, the changes in government policy resulting in more vigilant monitoring of religious activities and the subsequent closure of many projects, including some of our own. It is not expected that the situation will improve, especially for foreigners, i.e. US companies and foreign staff.
Staff Roles and Responsibilities - For the first 8 years of Charis’ work, we focused on community development and poverty alleviation. But because of the sensitivity of our status and work, we made conscious efforts to conduct more “income-generating business activities,” rather than engage in straight community development (non-income producing in the eyes of the officials) programs. In reality, it was challenging for the staff to think, plan, and develop business programs simply because they are not “business”- minded or trained in business.
Personal Developments - My family and I together have served with Charis for the past 13 years. We have deep roots and established trust and meaningful relationships with the people we serve, especially with the Charis staff. Last year while on home assignment, I was given an opportunity to consider becoming the Missions Director with FECA. It is our passion to see the advancement of His Kingdom through missions, especially global missions. I will assume the new role and responsibilities of Missions Director in the early to middle part of 2017.
Hopes and Encouragements
In early April 2016, as the vehicle in which I was riding came to a stop in front of a huge 2 story building (old, but useable) sitting on a 4 Mu parcel of land (2,664 sq. meter), my heart was overjoyed and filled with much gratitude. We had not come to this particular county after Charis’ programs were temporarily stopped in 2012. This is the Muslim-controlled county where we served and worked during our first 9 years with Charis. It is here where we visited each week in the villages, and chose one village as our “hub” and used it as a base from which to travel to other villages. This is where our company activities were in full swing. This is where we spent countless hours sharing our stories and His stories. This is the place, so to speak, where Life-giving seeds of the Kingdom were sowed.
What I saw and witnessed is a grace and work of our Father. A “Church” with a physical building is now established and recognized by the local government. I was reminded of the promise: The gates of Hell will not prevail. Upon this rock I shall build my Church. A local brother had responded to the call to serve as the shepherd for the growing flock in the county. We had taken the opportunity to introduce the many farmers in the area to this shepherd, and they have received the Seed of the Kingdom from him. Today, some of the farmers now attend meetings on Sundays and weekdays as well. Praise the Lord. We hope to see more of this happening — For the sake of the Kingdom, He weaves together the different strands of the church-the ENTIRE body of Christ is at work!
We are so grateful for your encouragement expressed in every single way. On behalf of Charis Development Company, Thank You.
但最重要的是與這些個人和家庭的互相交流中，我們能夠分享我們的個人故事，更重要的是能夠分享主耶穌 - 我們的造物主為什麼愛我們的故事。
保羅敦促提摩太：『但你所學習的 、所確信的 、要存在心裡。。。』提摩太後書 3:14。這是我們應該對學到的、了解到的好事物，永藏在心裡，然後用生活見證出來。但大部分人都知道很多真理但不去付諸實踐。真正考驗自己是否知道明白這些真理，就是付諸行動。我們盼望及為當地的神國子民禱告，讓他們會繼續實踐他們所學到的。
政治條件 – 憑著主的恩典，在過去的十三年裡，華恩一直是以外商投資及經營的牟利諮詢公司為名，有創意地在這國家長期地做我們被神所召我們做的事工。近年來我們看到因政府政策改變，導致對宗教活動有更嚴厲的監管，許多宗教活動項目，包括一些屬於華恩的，都被逼陸續關閉。特別是對外國人，即美國公司和外國工作人員，這情況不會有任何好轉。
同工的角色和責任 – 在華恩的首八年裡，我們致力於社區發展和扶貧。但基於我們的身份和工作的敏感性，我們要努力和實行更多的「可營利的商業活動」方案，而不是單是在做政府官員眼裡的無收入的社區發展。實際上，這是對我們同工的思考、規劃和制定商業計劃的挑戰，就是因為他們沒有「生意」頭腦也缺乏這方面的訓練。
個人發展 - 我和家人在過去十三年來一直在華恩服事，以致我們與這裡的人建立了密切關係和彼此
望。我將於在 2017 年上半年履任。
在 2016 年四月初，當我們的車輛在一所坐擁四畝土地（2664 平方米）的巨大兩層建築物（雖舊但可用的）前面停下來的時候，我心充滿了喜樂及極大的感恩。這因當所有華恩公司項目在 2012 年暫停後，我們便沒有來過這個我們曾經服事了九年的縣城。就是在這裡我們每週探訪不同的村莊，在其附近的村莊中，我們還設置了我們的「中心」。這是華恩公司項目進行得如火如荼的時候。在這裡我們花了無數時間，與當地人分享我們的及神的故事，可以說這裡就是神國生命給予播種的地方。