This last week we had the first graduation ceremony for students in China who have completed our SOTA (Seminary on the Air)
training. Of the 100 students who graduated, 25 of them come from rural areas where they often study as they work in the fields.
We’re so thankful for these students, but without the workers who run the program none of this would be possible.Our leader in China, we’ll call her Tracy
, has an interesting story. She came to Canada with her husband and daughter in the early 2000’s and didn’t know anything about Christianity. Tracy had had a high government position in China, but when she came to Canada she stayed at home. She couldn’t speak English, didn’t understand the currency, and didn’t have any friends. Just travelling in the city was very stressful. The early days in Canada were not easy.
Her daughter was in school and so learned to integrate easier. Her daughter was invited to church by a neighbour and was greatly encouraged by the love shown to her by the congregation. She eventually convinced Tracy to attend. When this dear sister tells her story, she says it this way: “They [the congregation] loved me into the Kingdom.”
Tracy accepted Christ began to grow in her faith though it caused a lot of tension in her marriage. She felt a calling on her heart to serve in China, but she didn’t know who, or where or how. She heard about SOTA and enrolled in the program. Upon completion she enrolled in a Chinese-language seminary in Toronto and for 3.5 years worked a full time job, cared for her family, attended 4 hours of night school each day plus did her reading and assignments.
“I was very tired, but I am strong,” Tracy said. “I wanted to help the Church in China.”
God made a way for Tracy to return to China where she now leads the SOTA team and SOTA online. And that’s only one of the SOTA team’s stories. There are 9 key people working in this ministry and nearly 1500 students. Each one has an amazing story; each one of them has taken a different journey to get where they are today. Without each one of them doing their part, there would not be any graduates.
It takes a team, local house church leaders, lay leaders, SOTA workers, and a ministry leader to fulfill our mission to assist the church in making disciples.
“In the next five years, we will have a thousand or more SOTA graduates in China who will serve in their own churches before and after graduation,” says Dr. William Tsui, TWR Canada’s China Ministry Director.
We will continue to offer new courses and resources to graduates and new students to further equip them for ministry. What a privilege to have a part in this amazing ministry of equipping the Church in China.
Trained leaders are desperately needed in China. Please pray for these new graduates and those still working through the SOTA program. Pray for strength and wisdom for those leading the SOTA ministry in China.