🗓️Looking back at 2022: Celebrating A Year of Growth
“Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.”
As 2022 comes to a close, join us in celebrating all that God has done in cultivating courageous communities of students who seek the flourishing of all. Throughout this year, I (Darren) have seen how much God is growing us – as an organization and a people.
Growing Student Fellowships A unique opportunity we have is the chance to journey with students through the most formative years of a young person’s life. From Teens Conference to high school Christian fellowships, to post-secondary Asian Christian Fellowships, our staff help student communities encounter Jesus in ways that resonate with the next generation.
While our high school ministry staff have the privilege of working with five GTA area high schools, we have recently seen God opening avenues for engagement outside of Toronto. Recently, a student from Ottawa reached out to us and we are now beginning to work with an enthusiastic and bright student leader with a passion to see God move amongst her peers.
We are also thankful for how we have been able to work with more Asian/Chinese Christian Fellowships this year as our post-secondary staff develop closer ties with Queen’s, Laurier, Laurier Brantford, Waterloo, Western and other CCFs. These communities, shaped by Jesus’ love, offer students a welcoming space to explore life’s big questions and take their next steps toward Jesus. Your support enables more students to encounter Jesus in tangible and meaningful ways.
Growing Young People Through your partnership, we were also able to offer a hybrid experience for TC this year. Students were invited to consider how they could be a unifying presence in our polarized and divided world.
One student shared with us that through TC, she came to the deep conviction that “nothing in this world, no idols or materialistic things matter or will ever give me satisfaction. So why waste all the time and energy in searching for the things of the world, when I can just turn around to Jesus and be accepted and free from chasing the world?”
Our theme this year at Campus Challenge was “Come. Taste. See.” Students from many CCFs came together to “taste and see that the LORD is good,” (Psalms 34:8). Imagine a day when students everywhere have the opportunity to taste and see how good our Lord is! Through your partnership, we pray for the day when more and more students will have that opportunity.
Growing Staff Team We have also seen a growing staff team over the last year. For example, this year, we saw Jillian Chong (based in Vancouver) join our team as our Director of People and Culture. Jillian brings a wealth of experience with her – from serving overseas, to working with international students in Canada, to leading at an executive level in another Christian organization. Jillian has been instrumental in helping us cultivate a flourishing organizational culture.
We have also been blessed by three new interns this year. Thank you to those who gave towards our AFC Internship Experience last year. Through your partnership, we have set Renee, Brandon, and Ben up for success this year.
Ben shared with us that “the internship has been a privilege because of the unique opportunity to walk alongside students in a spiritually formative time in their lives. I see myself making a difference [as I] show them what it means to live as a witness.”
It’s been amazing to see how God has been stretching each one of them as they step out of their comfort zones.
Renee shares that God “has shaped me in ways to connect with students who are struggling to embrace moments of discomfort. Growing in this aspect guides me to deepen my understanding of different perspectives and ways to support each individual.”
The work of our staff and interns is crucial, as they play a significant mentorship role in the lives of students. Brandon shared with us that “through my relationships with students, I know that God is using me to make a difference. Students are willingly opening up to me about personal things, asking me Bible/theology questions and wanting to get to know me. Students look up to me, giving me a chance to be an example of following Jesus to them.”
Thank you for your generosity and support of our AFC Internship Experience. This is a critical part of our ministry in training young leaders who will go on to lead and influence after their time as interns. As our staff capacity grows and develops, we will be able to offer more support, mentorship, and training to our growing student communities as well.
What's Ahead for 2023?
There are so many more stories that I could share with you about how God is growing, shaping, and leading us in new and exciting ways. Your partnership has been instrumental in the growth and fruitfulness we have seen this year. I truly feel optimistic that as we enter our 51st year, we have so much more to look forward to. So as we look ahead to 2023, please join us in prayer for the following:
Closer Relationships with our Kingdom partners (Churches and Individuals): I would love to get to know you more as our valued partners in the gospel! Please pray that God would continue to help us cultivate good relationships that would be a blessing to many.
Growing our Team, Growing our Impact: This year, we are praying that God would raise up 5 year-long interns to join our team in May. We are also trusting him to raise up more staff and volunteers with a passion to see Jesus-following student communities thrive and become places of flourishing.
Creativity and Innovation: As we seek to reach a new generation of students, pray that God would give our teams (both staff and volunteers) inspiration, insight, and a willingness to take risks to reach more with the gospel. For example, we are asking the Lord to help us form a Digital Media ministry team in 2023 to reach students through new avenues.
Partner With Us!
Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us in this new year? There is so much that we are trusting God for as we look ahead to the new year. I would love for you to consider joining our team through both prayer and finances. Click here to read more about our current financial situation. Together, we can do so much more than on our own.
As I look ahead, I also look back at the last 18 months since I joined AFC in Canada. As I reflect on my time thus far with AFC, I am most grateful for you – the great cloud of witnesses that continue to support, lift, and carry AFC forward. Your generosity and faithfulness are integral to who we are and what we do.
So it is with a full heart that I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I am so thankful for your partnership!
With a grateful heart,
Darren Lung, Executive Director