At the beginning of July, the Hope International Chinese Church (HICC) in Arcadia, California held their first summer school program to bring in children from non-Christian families from their community.
Sixty children from kindergarten to grade sixth, who were mainly Chinese with the exception of three Korean students, came for the ten week program focused on bible studies that also incorporated academic subjects, such as English, Chinese, and math, among many others.
David Ma, the director of the education center, said that HICC wanted to teach these pupils, most of whom have never heard the gospel, knowledge that they can apply to their daily lives and, they wanted to create a program where they can teach these young people subjects that their parents would approve of.
In the morning, they would teach bible studies that played into the childrens' curiosity by making them ask, "Why did Jesus do that."
At lunch, more questions formed when leaders at HICC taught the young children how to pray. "Why do we have to say Amen?" the children asked according to Ma.
"We want to inculcate these concepts into their daily lives, so that they can go home and share the gospel with their parents," he said.
One hope at HICC is that the parents will attend the parenting class held every Sunday that teaches about daily human life, human relations, and emotions, based on what the bible says in regards to the proper Christian character.
The after school program, which was launched out of the summer school, will provide a community center where parents can pick up their children after work. Ma said that, in this way, HICC can help the parents and care for the children. The after school program will provide tutoring in English and Chinese.
"We have a mission according to the bible that we need to preach to everyone in the world," that is why the place where our church is situated is important and, "we have the responsibility to preach in that area," he said.
In the last couple of weeks, the church atmosphere was more casual and provided lessons on how to dance and, activities that included the science museum and swimming.
In addition, HICC will expand this ministry in the near future by establishing a music class, Ma said.
Ma, who is also the Chairman of the Deacon Board, said that the characteristics of HICC is to break down the walls and venture into the world where they can spread the gospel through "all kinds of tools."
The HICC committee is in charge of thinking of new innovative ways to share the gospel, they were able to establish a ping pong ministry and organized tours, such as concerts.
"We are very creative" here at Hope International Chinese Church, Ma said.