Don't you just love a book that you cannot put down? Even when one chapter ends, you really want to continue reading? That is the way I feel about all that is happening at KIDS and is especially true right now at CCS. God is doing amazing things - He is writing the next chapter in the book called 'Cuatro Christian School'! I feel privileged to be able to read it and I cannot put it down... I need to keep reading to see what He is going to do next!
Tina and I were privileged to be able to go to China and bring 4 kids and a teacher from CCS with us. It was a whole set of firsts... first passport, first time at airport, first time on an airplane, first time in China, first time at the Great Wall... Wow! We were attending a fundraiser. The purpose was to raise money to build a High School! Amazing! But what is even more amazing is that we were not raising funds to be able to purchase land to build the High School on, we were actually raising funds for the construction of the school! Where in the world are we going to build this new High School??? I am getting ahead of myself... let me back up and tell you more about the start of the chapter that God is in the middle of writing, but first take some time to enjoy the following video.
Video : See some footage of the trip to China, learn more about the High School project and actually see the land we purchased for the school!
It all started with my lack of faith.
Let me give a summary of the beginning of God's new chapter for CCS. In November last year with discussions of building a High School. Truthfully, I was not convinced this is where we needed to go right now. Saying 'I was not convinced' is an understatement. I was directly opposed to the idea, not because I felt we didn't need a High School, but because I felt we had enough other things that needed to be focused on at KIDS. Was it wise for us to start this large of a project when there are so many other things that needed to be done? How would we raise the money for this large of a project? We didn't even have land to build on!
I could not see spending years raising money for land which would cost at least $300,000... and then years more for building the school.... (which would cost even more!) especially when I was concerned each month if we would have enough funds to even cover payroll. This isn't to say God didn't provide. He did. God always provided for our needs. It was me who was worried and each month I was trying to figure out when we would run out of money! I think it was God teaching me about faith. If this was His ministry, then He would provide for what He wanted to be done.
Dave Yuen, one of our US board members, would keep asking me about the land across the street from the ministry center. 'We need to buy that property before someone else buys it -- we need it to build a school!'. I would roll my eyes and say 'Are you kidding me? We are not at the place that we can even think about buying land! Anyways... If God wants us to have that land then he wont let it sell and we can still buy it later'. This conversation happened quite a few times.
God's 'gentle' nudge.
It was a conversation with Steve, who brought a team from a school in Hong Kong. He runs an organization called 'Seeds of Hope' which is a non-profit run by a set of international schools in China. He was telling me how Seeds of Hope had been helping build schools in China since an earthquake around 10 years ago, but recently they had begun to question if they wanted to continue this. He mentioned that some teams from the schools had been to KIDS and that discussions had happened about seeing if they could partner with KIDS instead on some type of large 'project' that students could come and be a part of over the next 3-5 years. He wanted it to be something visible and impactful that students coming would really be able to grasp the difference they were making by their trip. Then came the question.... 'Does KIDS have a large project we could work on?'. My conversations with Dave came to mind and I replied 'We could build a High School...'.
That was it... Immediately Steve responded that they would be very interested in that and he would go back and make it happen. Within a few minutes he informed me that they had $100,000 in the bank they could send over to start construction! I was so excited but then as I thought about it... oops... one small problem... we don't even have land to build a school on. We started discussing options. There was a fundraiser in April 2018 intended to raise funds for Seeds of Hope. Maybe we could use the $100k and money from the fundraiser and other sources to purchase the land in a year or so and then we could start construction in 2019.
God not 'quite so gentle' shove.
This is when God started to push me. I started praying. 'God, is there any way we could purchase the land without money from the fundraiser, so that the funds could go to constructing the school and we could actually have classrooms built by 2019?' In reality, we ran out of space at CCS long ago. We are using space in many areas to 'make it by', but it is definitely not ideal. We are not able to even have 11th and 12th grade classes because the government requires that you have a certain level of facility to be able to offer these grades. Our 'graduating' class of 10th grade this year will have to find another school to go to for the remainder of their schooling.
This is where it gets interesting... Without going into all the details (or this would end up being a book instead of a blog) within 2 months there was a commitment $340,000 for the purchase of the land! The price of the land? Right around $300,000! God provided more than enough! I guess he was serious when the Bible says 'He is able to do abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine'!!!
And God was not done yet...
Remember the prayer? 'God, is there any way we could purchase the land without money from the fundraiser?' One week after attending the fundraiser and receiving no money from the fundraiser, we purchased on the land! In addition, here has been another commitment of $240,000 over a 3 year period for the construction of the school from the Seeds of Hope foundation. Although this will not be enough to build the entire High School, I have been taught a lesson not to worry about the little things (like money). God will provide because He is making it clear... this is not our ministry anyways... it is HIS!
Join us in praying
Please join us in praying for God to continue to direct KIDS in the way we should go and the things we should do. Please pray for his continued provision for the Children's Home for the running of CCS and for the new High School construction. Please pray for wisdom as we draw up plans for construction so we go align with His long term plan for the school. Pray that God would continue to move the ministry in the direction he wants us to move. We thank Him for all He has done over this last year to mold the ministry - as painful as it has been at times. Pray that teams would continue to come and help us do the work.
Finally -- do you want to help?
Have you ever wanted to be part of something BIG? Something that makes a difference in the lives of others? Do you feel that inner tug to do things that 'Make a difference'? Then why not come and help us? Ha Ha -- you thought I was going to ask you to Give... Nope. I know God has his own way of providing money - could be through you, could be through others.
Come and get dirty building a school!
I was asking you if you wanted to come and mix cement, paint walls, put together desks, decorate classrooms? Bring others with you.... bring your family, your friends, your Church group... One of the amazing things that I have seen about teams that come to KIDS. They come to help others, to serve others, to share Christ with others, to build homes for the homeless, to feed the hungry, to care for orphans, to love kids... but in the end they are the ones that walk away blessed and changed forever. God has a way of changing our hearts when we serve other people. Find out more about volunteering here. Volunteer information.
Come and be changed!