An education project for the children of Chinese evangelists and poor believers in rural areas of China declared a success in 2005.
The Christian Communication Inc. U.S.A (CCIUSA) has spearheaded the project named Seedling Development Project near the end of June 2005 as coworkers from CCIUSA conferred with church ministers in some rural areas of China regarding the implementation, according to half-year progress report released on the latest issue of CCIUSA bi-monthly magazine "Pray for China."
With a long-term experience in working with churches in rural areas of China, CCIUSA have realized the huge gap between the living conditions in urban cities and villages. Countless Chinese Christians and evangelists in rural areas live in poverty, and they cannot afford to send their children to secondary schools, or even to get proper medical treatment for illnesses. Therefore, the Seedling Development Project is launched as a ministry of caring for the children of needy evangelists and believers in China.
Since the end of June 2005, some coworkers from CCIUSA with related professional skills have done a series of home visitation and observation in the rural villages, which is described as the "most important and time-consuming" aspect.
"The counselors need time to understand personally the problems and needs of the concerned child and of his/her family," the half-year progress report reads.
By the end of August, CCIUSA has selected two provinces -Anhui and Shaanxi- as the neediest areas. Some 300 children were identified to receive support from Seedling Development Project after careful assessment based on their family situation.
The reports added that half of them are in elementary school, and the other half in middle school. Before the school commence in late August or early September, scholarships for the children were distributed for the first time.
According to the report, activities include life education, Bible stories, games, and distributing the new 2006 calendars for all the families, were held in two villages in November. Hygiene education has been one of the focuses to help improving the living environment in villages.
In December, CCIUSA has celebrated the Christmas with children and believers in villages. In addition, some 130 children joined the first ever winter retreat in their lives under the sponsorship of Seedling Development Project. Not only were they able to play a wide range of sports and outdoor activities, they learned to pray, sing Christian praise songs and listen to bible stories, the report says.
Each of them received a "personal hygiene pack" that includes towel, toothbrush, toothpaste and soaps to help them building up good habits. They were also given a gospel 2006 calendar and four bible stories comic books.
According to the report, the total expense for the first stage of the implementation of Seedling Development Project is around $25,000 USD. By the end of 2005, the total number of children sponsored by the Project has reached 348, including 187 elementary students and 161 secondary students.
All funds are spent on: education and books subsidiary; spiritual resources for the Sunday Schools on all elementary, middle and high levels; health and medical care; education seminars for parents as well as counseling services with home visits.
CCIUSA emphasizes on an all-around training for co-workers- house visitation and counseling, activities coordination, financial management and other professional skills- in a bid to set up a strong system and foundation for the Seedling Development Project.
The goal of the Seedling Development Project is to support 400 children of needy evangelists and believers in China with education, health and medical care, and spiritual nourishment. Therefore, now CCIUSA is looking to sponsor another 100 children in the near future of 2006. CCIUSA urges Chinese Christians to pray for the Project.