Over time, we have been concerned by lack of a reading culture not only among the students, but also the general populace. The overemphasis on grades and exams has made things even worse for recent and coming generations. Our average High School student hardly has time to read for knowledge or beyond the exams. The pressure is too much. While some students may read, the literature they are exposed to is another story altogether. Secular humanism, erotic novels and violence-themed books find their way in schools every other time. Access to New Media, video games, the smart phones, cheap pirated movies and the TV have just added salt to the wound. Reading is no longer an esteemed habit or even a pastime.
The Readership Challenge was born out of this concern. For the last four years, we have trusted God to lead us to a well-written, God-glorifying, relevant book that would be read by all the students who read our magazine. We distribute this book at the beginning of the year during our school visits to all the students in our subscribed schools. The students read and do guided reports and submit them to their teachers for grading. The teachers select five of their best reports to represent their school and send them to us for grading by a selected panel of Judges consisting of some of our staff and practicing teachers. The schools then gather for the Awards Gala on the second week of June of every year.
This year we are reading the comic version of the The Heavenly Man - A true story of the Christian Brother Yun by Paul Hattaway. This is a the story of a Chinese House Church and his experience under the rule of communism. a man who together with his friends have experineced untold persecution in the hands of their government.
We pray and hope that as many young people will read this book and be inspired to treasure their faith and live an active Christian life. we also hope that as many will be drawn towards seeing Christ worshipped among the Asian peoples of this world.