In 2012, TWR’s SOTA ministry consisted of a church leadership training radio program in China known as Seminary on the Air. The church in China was growing rapidly and desperately needed solid training and leadership.
It was at that point that William Tsui, TWR Canada's Chinese ministry director, took over the ministry. William was involved in SOTA even before he joined TWR and had been leading SOTA in Canada using CDs at that time. When he joined the TWR team, he got more involved with SOTA by pouring his energy into revitalizing the Chinese ministry. He and his team completely overhauled the program. Assignments were created, and William developed a network of theologians and church leaders to mark and provide feedback on assignments as well as to answer any questions students had. In addition, William noticed a significant challenge of learning theology over the radio: it is impossible to stop the audio to write down notes or to re-listen to any points that were not understood. He addressed this problem by developing media players, a website and later, computer tablets where students could listen to the program and even submit assignments (online and on the tablets). He began to share SOTA in churches in China, and more and more students wanted to join – so many that they had to start a waiting list.
As anyone knows about someone who is passionate for the Lord and has a significant amount of God-given energy, William (along with his team) didn’t stop there. TWR Canada’s Chinese ministry began to expand not only overseas but also in Canada. William firmly believes that if we meet the needs of the Church, they will engage in our ministry. So rather than simply look at Canada’s Chinese-language churches as merely a funding source, he sought to understand what the needs of the Church were and how TWR Canada could get involved. Like in China, the Chinese church here needs training so that is what William provided. Bible study seminars and camps, a church leadership development program, conferences, special speakers and more are offered through our ministry and are highly valued by Chinese believers in Canada.
Over the years, we have had the privilege of watching as God grew the ministry to Chinese believers overseas as well as in Canada. In the last number of years, our Chinese ministry team has had opportunities and the desire to do more than they were able. For example, they desired to record new SOTA programs and children’s Bible audio programming and to offer more and larger leadership and training events. William began to think about building a ministry centre where they could host these opportunities, saving much time and energy by running them on-site, thus enabling the Chinese ministry team to do more.
Again, we saw God’s hand in this. Not long after our Chinese ministry team began thinking seriously about this idea, a building across the road from their office put up a “For Sale” sign. When the team toured the building, they saw that not only did it have ample space for their needs, it already had its own recording studio! William approached TWR Canada’s leadership, who agreed with the idea of purchasing it, conditional upon raising the funds up front. Within less than eight months, the entire amount of the building was raised!
Currently, the building is being renovated, projected to be completed at the end of June, when our team intends to move in. Praise the Lord for his provision of the building and finances! Please pray for the final renovations and the move.