“I’ve never been to church before. What’s church for?” “Isn’t that where people are buried?”
“That’s where they want to get your money!” – a conversation I heard while transporting children in my
SUV to the day camp in the First Evangelical Free Church.
September 17, 2010
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On June 26 to July 3, I went on a mission trip with a group from First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church
to minister at the Dorcas Center in Brooklyn, NY. During the daytime, we led a day camp for
approximately 90 children of Chinese blue collar workers. Most of these children came from Buddhist or
atheist families, and many of them had never been to a church before. As you can see in the
conversation above, some of their preconceptions of church were not very flattering.
However, as the days went by, the children and the people from our team grew very close to each other.
We tutored them in math and English. We laughed, made crafts and played games with them. We did
funny duet acts to teach them Bible lessons, we had group discussions about the lesson and we sang Bible
songs together. On the last day of camp, they sang songs with so much gusto (more than what I’ve heard
from many Christian groups). Even though they didn’t fully understand the meaning of the songs that
they sung, it brought tears to my eyes. The children now knew that church was where they not only
heard about the love of God, but also where they experienced it.
Our mission team led the first week of day camp for these children. For the next eight weeks, a group
from different churches would lead a week of day camp. Each group built on the ministry of the previous
groups. By the end of the summer more than 20 of the children made professions of faith! The
leaders from Dorcas Center and the First Evangelical Free Church are working hard to follow up those
children who made these decisions for Christ.
Besides leading the day camp, our team also picked up trash in the local park, led several outreach
events, hung out with the Brooklyn church’s youth group and surveyed people with evangelistic
questionnaires. Here are some of the highlights of the trip:
Our team consisted of youth, college students and middle aged adults with three different primary
languages. We truly loved each other and brought out the best in each other. Many of them stepped
way out of their comfort zones and as a result they saw God work in their lives in a mighty way. I
was particularly pleased to see how our three youth did so well on the mission trip.
Hearing the spiritual adventures of teammates after surveying with the questionnaires. Our team
members explained the gospel to tough looking basketball players, Muslims, and Chinese immigrants.
People listened with interest and seeds were planted. Our team members gained greater confidence
in sharing the gospel for the future.
I taught the 6th graders Bible, Math and English. We thought that they would be the rowdiest group.
But actually they were very well-behaved and very open to the Gospel. Out of the 16 in the class, at
least half of them have started attending Sunday worship or youth fellowship on a consistent basis.
God truly demonstrated His goodness this summer in Brooklyn (He always does!), but the work in
Brooklyn is not done. Please pray for the following prayer requests sent to us by the staff of the Dorcas
Pray that the seed of the gospel that has been planted in the children and parents alike would
grow to fruition.
Pray that the Dorcas Board in its upcoming meetings will have the wisdom to lead Dorcas in its
Pray for God’s provision of dedicated volunteers to teach ESL, computer, citizenship
classes and provide help in accounting.
By the end of this year, Dorcas needs an extra $20,000 on top of its general
expenses to meet the terms of its building mortgage agreement. Please pray for
God’s blessing to meet this special need.
For the Love of God,