A Year in Review: What a Year It Has Been!
Read the Chinese version here
Thank you for your faithful prayers and partnership through such unprecedented times. As this year comes to a close, we want to take this time to celebrate all that God has done in helping students encounter Him.
The last 2 years have required many adjustments to our everyday life, perseverance, and even greater compassion for others as we all navigate the reality of living and ministering in a global pandemic. Despite these challenges, your support for AFC is bearing much fruit as God’s spirit continues to move in the next generation.
AFC IS GROWING
For the first time this year, we saw 5 summer students intern with AFC! We seek to be a place where young people can experience God while using their passions, talents, and abilities to help others encounter Jesus.
Summer 2021 Interns from left to right: Amanda Lee (Graphic Design), Michelle Huang (Communications), Josh Ma (Post Secondary), Kathleen Sun (High School), Curtis Leung (Admin)
One intern described his time with AFC as “unexpected (in a good way!) [as] I was able to grow in my faith while doing work for His Kingdom!” Additionally, we saw 3 new staff join and a new Executive Director.
Staff from Left to Right: Connie Van Raalte (Administration Manager), Michael Quach (Ministry Associate), Kimberly Pak (Events Designer)
As the new Executive Director of AFC in Canada, several things have stood out to me:
The thoughtfulness, gentleness, compassion, and kindness our staff embody in student ministry is a testament and reflection of Christ’s love. Our staff are a true joy to work alongside.
It is encouraging to see hundreds of volunteers give so enthusiastically of their time, energy, and talents to nurture the gifts and faith of the next generation. Your partnership in ministry is an answer to prayer.
The close-knit Chinese Christian community in the GTA.
In a year when #StopAsianHate became a movement for change, it is more apparent that God has a plan for the Chinese church in Canada. I pray we can be the spark for change, justice, and a community in which people can experience God’s healing, restoration and love.
TEENS CONFERENCE CELEBRATED ITS 50TH YEAR, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?
The 2021 theme EVEN IF reminded over 360 participants that EVEN IF the world around us completely changes, Jesus remains steadfast and faithful in his love for us. For the 2nd year in a row, TC was entirely online. While it was challenging, it allowed students from all across Ontario and Canada to join us.
There were also workshops designed to engage participants with different stages of maturity and faith. Students had the opportunity to grow in their faith with meaningful and relevant workshops such as Video Game Addiction, Mental Health, the Persecuted Church to the discernment of their future vocation.
Back to the Drawing Board: Mentorship & Mental Health
In Listening to Their Voices: An Exploration of Faith Journeys of Canadian-born Chinese Christians, two factors were crucial in the spiritual formation of young people who remain highly engaged in faith:
Involvement in authentic communities of faith
With this, our staff have been focusing heavily on mentoring young leaders and facilitating relationships with students during the transitional periods of their lives. AFC connector events such as NeXus (transition from elementary to high school) and Frosh ConneXion (transition from high school to university or college) help students through the transition period.
Although both were online events, we saw nearly 280 students get connected through FX and 2 new high school fellowships were established in the TDSB through NX.
According to a 2021 study of Canadian youth, "67% to 70% of children and youth experienced deterioration in at least one mental health domain".
Knowing that wellness is interconnected (mind, body, spirit), we have sought to increase staff competency in walking alongside students through mental health struggles. For example, our staff and several CCF student leaders have completed the Mental Health First Aid course. Our Ministry team also participated in the Church Mental Health Summit by Hope Made Strong, which focuses on equipping the church to support mental health in their communities.
Additionally, we have begun diving into Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. We believe that as our staff develop healthy rhythms, practices and move toward wholeness and health, their capacity to journey with students through darkness will grow as well.
Looking Forward to the Next 50 Years
AFC will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022! Not only will this be a year of reflection and celebration, but it will also be an opportunity to envision what the next 50 years hold. What new challenges will we face? What new opportunities will God present? In what ways will we have to adapt, change, and expand our perspective?
No one knows what the future holds but I ask God to help us take the next faithful step. Imagine a world where students are encountering Jesus together. What difference would that make in our high schools, universities, and beyond? Imagine the healing, restoration, and renewal that could take place as communities of students come face-to-face with the living God!
As 2021 comes to a close, would you consider giving toward the next 50 years of ministry amongst primarily Chinese students in Canada today?
For 2022, our goal is to raise up 4 interns who will be trained in ministry, mentored, and making a meaningful difference in the lives of students. From my own experience, I know how transformative a ministry internship experience can be! We are trusting God to provide $40000, which will help partially subsidize the salaries and ministry costs of 4 interns. To support this initiative, go to afccanada.org/donate
Your financial partnership will enable more students to experience authentic communities encountering Jesus together. Join us in trusting God for this shared vision of the future - students from coast to coast, living out the fullness of life while embodying and embracing the Great Commandments of loving God and their neighbours.
With a grateful heart, thank you for supporting AFC in Canada. Your partnership allows us to do what we do. You are an answer to prayer and a vessel of grace to us.
Other AFC Updates
I. AFC Office Holiday Closure
Our office will be closed for Christmas and New Year from December 21-27, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Our staff will resume work on January 3, 2022.
II. Note to all 2021 Supporters and Donors
2021 DONATIONS DEADLINE
All GCF donations requiring a 2021 tax receipt must be postmarked to their address (PO Box 14006 Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 0B4) on or before Dec. 31, 2021.
All donations sent to the AFC office must be delivered by or postmarked on or before Dec. 31, 2021.
DONOR TAX RECEIPTS
AFC tax receipts will be mailed/emailed in late January or in February. If you have any questions please email email@example.com or call us at 905-513-0713.
Tax receipts from GCF are emailed by the end of January, provided they have an email address on file. Please check your Junk Mail folder if you don’t see it by March. If no email address is on file, they will be mailed to the address that is on file. All GCF donor or receipt questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-855-488-7020.