Our main sending church asks us to provide an update every year. These were their questions and our answers. We wanted to make this available to all our supporters who care about us, want to know how we're doing and what we're up to, both individually and from a corporate standpoint. Thanks to all those who continue to love on us and shower us with encouragement.
Note: Many don’t know that China is still a very closed society (ie., no religion or political freedom), especially when it comes to foreigners doing non-profit work. As foreigners, spreading the good news is still illegal and some of our friends (that we serve with on a daily basis) have experienced detainment, deportation, phones being tapped, etc. We need to be careful with the language we use. If there is anything that isn’t clear and need more explaining, please let us know. Thanks!
What is your name?
Daniel Lui & Lily Hsu (along with our children, Kingston and Fiona Lui)
What fruit have you seen in your ministry in the past year?
Please see attached video by visiting the link provided. It is a short (~2 minute) video summarizing our previous year. Every year, during the Chinese New Year (i.e., late January or early February) we will put out a year-end summary video.
If interested, we will have a new year-end summary video available around February 2018.
We also have a personal blog (password protected) that shares a bit more about the specifics in ministry. The website can be accessed by clicking:
www.LuiFamilyBlog.com (password is ‘Fiona’ ; cap sensitive ; password changes every few months for safety reasons)
Our biggest prayer ever since arriving 2.5 to 3 years ago has been for Father to continue to do a good work IN us first, then THROUGH us. That continues to be our prayer; that our focus is on Him first and ministry second. We believe if we focus on Him first the ministry (that already is His) will succeed.
As far as specific fruits (in 2017), we’ll list a few (some included in the video):
— Through the international clinic we are seeing upwards of 500-700 patients a month, with each patient (and patient family) being an opportunity to share His goodness. Many of these patients are from ethnic minorities and unreached people groups, as the province we serve in is the only province in all of China where the majority of the population are ethnic minorities.
— Most of our clinic support staff are not believers. The main clinic secretary became a believer, through the love of many of the m-ssionary doctors and families, in 2016. That secretary left the clinic to do m-nistry work with a local non-profit organization. The incoming secretary, who started out as a very difficult-to-work-with non-believer, has started to go to Sunday fellowship on a regular basis and we believe it is a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ she enters the Kingdom family.
— One of the children’s homes we have worked with since 2008 (started by and led by a non-believer) had its first conversion last month! An “aged out” girl from the first batch of kids asked us if she could stay with our family for some time, and for us to help her find a job. As of me writing this (October 19, 2017) she has been living with us for over 2 months now. We found a job for her working with a well-known foreign Chr-stian organization, locally, surrounding her with believers. She became family a few weeks ago!!! She has been on fire for Him. She’s even gone back to the children’s home since, which was a difficult trip for her, but gave her the desire to spread His good news to those that don’t know it!
— It’s been at least 8-9 months since we committed to d-scipling 6 young believers. We truly believe the hope of this country sits with the local young believers, not in foreigners like us. If their hearts transform to be passionate about Him, they are able to do 100-fold more than what we could ever begin to do. It’s been challenging, but extremely fruitful. A step at a time they are knowing more and more what it means to be a true d-sciple. We just finished a course/series teaching them “What is a true d-sciple?” Because many of them have lots of good and important questions, we have moved on to a new series teaching them and discussing with them “The tough questions about the Chr-stian faith”. It’s been wonderful seeing them mature, but also growing alongside them.
—We have an active partnership with countless other foreign and local non-profits that do amazing Kingdom work (e.g., sex trafficking, orphans, ex-addicts, homeless, families of handicapped children, underground house churches). Many are too sensitive to post about or talk about via email, but mentioned in the video provided above. The international medical clinic is seen as a necessary platform for us to do His work here.
What goals do you hope to achieve in the next year?
Our goal is simple, and that’s learning how to focus.
Number one, we want to continue to not put ministry first, but to focus on the goodness of our Father. We truly believe if we are able to do that, whatever ministry we’re involved in will succeed beyond our expectations.
Number two, we (individually and as an organization) are working to figure out what our core competency is, what our true calling is, and to focus on that. We realize we aren’t able to help everyone/everywhere. We also know there are a lot of amazing organizations doing some amazing things, and we can utilize that to help more people. We want to figure out what we’re good at, focus on that, and make a more direct impact that way. We feel we have spread ourselves too thin.
A big part of us wants to shift our focus to His command of making disciples. We know this should be a priority for all of us within His Kingdom family. We are starting to see the importance of simply walking life and investing deep with people.
What is your current support level (dollar amount per year)?
Individually, as a family of 4, our budget goal is $60,000 gross and about $48,000 net after taxes. However, we (as an organization) have realized that the current goal is not meeting our needs, especially as our children get older and organization expands. We have been tapping into our savings for the past few years. With that being said, with a $60,000 gross and $48,000 net budget goal, we’re at about 85% funded.
As our organization expands, takes on more projects, hires local staff, we are realizing we are needing more and more funding. This is an area that we have been pr@ying about, and asking our supporters to pr@y about as well. The international clinic itself costs at least $25,000 per year (on top of the money coming in from seeing patients) to run. Organizationally, we are at approximately 68% of our $95,000-100,000 operational budget goal for 2018.
What is your support level if fully supported (dollar amount per year)?
Please see above.
What are your primary needs and concerns for your family and ministry?
We are starting to experience some “burn-out”. The last 2.5 to 3 years we have fallen in the trap of wanting to do too much and committing to too much. We need pr@yer for wisdom in how we move forward. We need to not only learn how to manage our time, but we need to learn how to manage our energy, as a family. We know Father is calling us to be here long-term, so we want to be able to stay physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.
Funding is also a source or stress and concern. Though we know in our minds Father will provide, it’s still hard sometimes.
Has there been any changes in your life and ministry that we should be aware of?
The main change has been being informed by one of our largest monthly donors that she will be pulling back funding as of January 2018. Given some personal financial issues she said she and her family has to pull back a bit. She has been contributing $1,000 USD per month for the last 3 years.
Is there anything else you would like to communicate or for us to pray about?
I will attach an email that we sent to one of our largest monthly supporters. We hope this helps illuminate a bit more, on a personal level, how we’re doing and what we’ve been up to.
Hey!!! (name removed)
Sorry, it took some time to get back to you. Biggest thing is we don't check gmail very frequently. The last 2 weeks have been hectic also because Adam was here and we took our entire disciplesh-p group to Dali for the local holiday. It was a great trip. It's been such a privilege (and a complete G0d thing) getting to d-sciple these 6 young believers. The expectation is that they would make a bigger eternal impact (in China) than we could ever begin to do ourselves. Especially in this increasingly closed society towards foreign M's, we've realized young, local leaders are the future.
As far as our personal growth and our growth as a family, it's been great. Probably the best part of being here. As we continue to struggle with many other things, one thing we can't deny is that He has stretched us and allowed us to grow in Him. Lily and I have said before that our marriage has been closer these 3 years than before coming here. We're being stretched in parenthood as well, learning to rely more and more on Him in taking care of our children. It definitely hasn't been easy. We've hit our limits many times. We've wanted to quit. We've felt very lonely. We've been on the brink of throwing in the towel when it comes to long-term ministry. Our marriage has been challenged in ways it wouldn't have been if we stayed in Ohio. But, through it all, we see almost daily why He called us here. Recently, Fu-mei living with us, accepting Him into her heart, has been another layer of assurance for us. Her being able to go back to Yu-lin (shortly after coming to faith)...we realized she's able to have more eternal impact there than we've been able to do in the last 8-9 years!
Fundraising has been "okay". I've asked Paul for the official numbers, but I think as far as personal/family fundraising budget, we are at about 85% goal. As we expand what we do here (which I can explain a bit more below, but if you want to know more just let me know) we are starting to fundraise more for those other things/projects, so family budget wise we're still tapping into our savings a bit.
##deleted some personal parts of the email##
As far as a current update on what we're "doing" here, we were going to post something like this on our blog in the upcoming weeks, but we'll just let you in on it first.
The last 2.5 years has been a whirlwind. We went from planning for China, thinking we knew what we were going to do, to being overwhelmed, to not having a clue, to finally understanding what His purpose may be for us here.
Many times we ask why CN wasn't more like Mexico or Africa or Japan or India or South America. Ministry would be so much easier (in some aspects) in those countries. We would be able to share openly to our supporters about what we're doing. We would be able to post on Facebook! We would be able to talk more freely at work and in ministry, knowing ours or our colleagues phones weren't tapped and recorded (a few of our doctors have been tapped with bureau people presenting to us transcripts of conversations). We would be able to serve alongside long-term M's without fear that their visa's wouldn't be renewed. In the last 12-18 months central Be-jing has cracked down on foreign M's and NGO's, which has trickled down to cities like Kunming. B CI, which once had almost 200 foreign staff (that included family), is down to a few families strong. The 5 B CI executive team members were down 1 about half a year ago; 4 of the foreigners are now gone, with the lead executive member losing his visa and gone back to Australia. The one executive member left was the sole local leader on the team. B CI's projects sites in the villages (all ~7 of them) have been forced to close, with the two remaining (in Shangr-la and fug0ng) closing by the end of 2018. What's left are the projects in Kunming (medical clinic, cerebral palsy rehabilitation center, autism center).
Because of the significant downsize in leadership, the founder of B CI asked if I would consider coming on board to be one of two main executive team members. As of 1/2 a year ago (I forgot exactly when) I started to take on more and more of a role with B CI. We are currently working to keep the two remaining village project sites (one being orph-n and f-ster care work and the other being rehabilitation center and leprosy work) open, but it's a challenge. The founder is considering (please keep this part private) handing off the entire organization to us within 5 years. I'm actually going to their annual board meeting next month to talk with the board members.
However, Lily and I have found that Father is so crazy awesome and His plan is greater than ours. I've always struggled with being a doctor here. It's not what Lily and I wanted to do. We've struggled with this ever since being here. We wanted to be hands on with O work. We wanted to be hands on with village work. We wanted to be hands on with country-side (children) burn victim work. We wanted to work in the gov't O. However, being a doctor has allowed us to be here, without much worry. We're able to get work visas that most aren't able to get (unless you are the few larger and grandfathered-in NGO's). Other than docs and some teachers (and business owners), we've found it really difficult for foreign M's to now get visa's. More importantly, we've realized that through the clinic we've been able to partner (very actively) with some amazing ministries.
We've been one of the very few foreigners that's been able to go to the state-run O (largest in the province), because of our status as doctors and director of the clinic, to teach caretakers there about neglect. We've been able to partner with the one major O ministry that are actually able to do O work in so many cool ways. We've been able to partner very actively with the main ministry doing s-x trafficking work here in town. We've been able to partner very actively with an ex-addict ministry. And, of course, we've actively partnered with the local cp rehabilitation center and autism center. We've realized that through what we're able to do at the clinic we've been able to walk alongside all these ministries. We've learned...it's all His work. It's all His Kingdom. It's all one body. Whether B CI, B2B, GBL, The Luke Comm, etc...it's ALL and utterly His.
As we continue to move forward and mature in our ministry, we feel Father calling us towards a specific direction. Not abandoning what we're doing now at the clinic and through the clinic, but expanding upon the connections we've made. The direction involves starting a local business that purely serves and hopes to further His Kingdom. Until we're more sure on our business plan and after discussing more with GivigBackLife, we'll not reveal too much at this time.
Hope that helps you understand what we're up to a bit more.
##deleted some more personal parts of the email##
Dan and Lily