As the 2016-2017 school year draws near, we at CWEF would like to offer our many thanks to Roger Tu, who volunteered as the Service Learning Director over the past year. We are especially grateful for Roger’s incredible faith, dedication, and commitment to education.
“Roger was always invested and focused, and he continues to focus — we hear from him frequently,” CWEF Executive Director Persephone James said. “I felt he never held back on his commitment or effort. We are a better organization because of the time Roger spent with us.”
Roger became familiar with CWEF while he taught at Concordia International School Shanghai (CISS), partnering with us to carry out the Yunnan Education Project service trips that his students completed. Roger had always planned to spend a year volunteering at the end of his time teaching overseas, and imagined himself doing hands-on work in the villages of China. When he eventually embarked on his year of service, however, his plans had changed.
“During my time in Shanghai, God had been teaching me about supporting others and I learned from friends involved with NGO’s and development work how much work must be done behind the scenes before any work happens in the field,” Roger said. “I felt God was leading me to help provide some of that support with organizations I trusted and believed in. It was God’s providence that this year was a time when CWEF was going through a transition and needed help and I gladly offered my help.”
We are so thankful to have had Roger’s skills at our use over the past year, and over the years that we worked with him through CISS. His work in planning and running the CWEF service learning projects, training our new Service Learning Coordinator, and liaising between the service learning volunteer teams and CWEF’s program directors was highly valuable to our organization.
“The favorite part of my job is always related to people, whether it’s CWEF staff, villagers, students, or service team members,” Roger said. “Meeting the villagers in Lufeng County was probably my favorite moment this year. Their love, their hospitality, and their rich spiritual history made this year worth it.”
Roger also said he enjoyed working with Vincent Lai’s family, who won the service trip from the Concordia Auction and Gala event. Despite the family’s surprise when they learned they had won a service trip, and not a vacation, they had a great experience working with a group of high school students in Yunnan.
“The family has become good friends of mine and is exploring opportunities to develop another project between CWEF and the school,” said Roger.
Having completed his year in service, Roger has moved to South Korea to teach Algebra II at Asia Pacific International School in Seoul, South Korea.
“I hope to utilize what I’ve learned and experienced to help with expanding the school’s service learning programs,” Roger said. “It’s the primary reason why I decided to stay overseas for teaching. While overseas, I hope to continue to look for opportunities to assist in the important work CWEF continues to do in Asia.”
We are very blessed to have worked with Roger over the past years. We pray that God will bless Roger immensely during his time in South Korea, and, though we miss him, we remain thankful for the opportunity to work with such a faithful servant of the Lord.