– Matthew Lee
Since 1994, the Xundian team has provided scholarships to help eager-to-learn high school students from economically disadvantaged families complete their studies, and at the same time, catch and transmit the spirit of “I’m helped – to help myself – to help others.”
During the three-year sponsorship, co-workers in the team build up relationships with the students by supporting them in three areas – body, mind, and spirit.
Since the students came from poor rural families, those who stayed in the dormitory for long periods of time couldn’t afford to eat meat, surviving only on rice and vegetables, or biscuits. Our co-workers would arrange to meet these students regularly during the lunch hour and invite them to have a meal that included meat. At the same time, to show that the Father’s love extends to their families, the students were asked about their life in school and their home circumstances. They were then provided with spectacles or surgical fees for their families according to their need.
The average village academic level of junior high school graduates was lower than that of students from county areas, and their humble family backgrounds affected their self-confidence. Our co-workers provided English tuition and counselling services to improve their learning capacity, and to build up their confidence. In order to promote the students’ self-awareness and the conduct of their interpersonal relationships, we asked them to write to their sponsors about their backgrounds.
Over Easter and Christmas, we organised gatherings to introduce the love of the Heavenly Father to the students. This was to help them understand that everything we did stemmed from His grace to them, and that they could also share the grace they received with others.
It seems like the blink of an eye, but I left Xundian more than four years ago. Every time I see graduates from different cohorts supporting and encouraging each other in the WeChat group, I am convinced that the Heavenly Father hears our prayers in helping those who have graduated to live out the spirit of “I’m helped – to help myself – to help others.”