James & Christina Weidner
In November 1993, at the age of 18 while in jail, James had a life-changing encounter with Christ, which placed him on a collision course with destiny. From that encounter with Christ, a single focus of reaching, equipping, and connecting people became his sole passion. Christina's encounter was just as dramatic but took place when she was seven years old, and she remained resolved through her teen age years to serve God on the foreign field.
On June 4, 2000, the day after marrying, Jamie and Christina moved to Manila, Philippines and spent the next five years there at Cathedral of Praise being trained and serving in various church and community leadership roles.
Early in 2001 James and Christina received a sudden and unexpected calling to spend a life time in China. Not really knowing how it to make this dream come to past they continued to serve and grow in various ministry roles until the door opened to move to Shanghai in June 2008.
In 2005, the plan of God brought the Weidners back to their home city of New Orleans, Louisiana and home church of Victory Fellowship right in time to lead in the relief effort, in the wake of Katrina through 2008.
In June 2008, the China door opened when, James was invited to serve as the Executive Director of the Community Center Shanghai. This season proved to be a very successful and fulfilling time in the beginning years of becoming familiar with China. James served at CCS from June 2008 - June 2011.
In January 2009 the first aspect of Charity Dream Association was realized as 12 people gathered for the first time in the Weidner's living room.
In October 2009 the Shanghai Healing Home was launched in a small, 130sqm, two bedroom apartment, with 10 beds and no babies. The first baby, Sabrina, arrived a couple weeks later. In July 2015 the Shanghai Healing Home moved a long-term, 60 bed facility.
In September of 2010 Learning Beyond Academy was launched with 7 students in the basement of the Weidner's home. Soon after LBA relocated to it's own facility and has been expanding every year since. Today LBA has grades PK2 through 12th, with the first graduating student to be in June 2017.
In July 2011 Charity Dream Shanghai (later changed to Charity Dream Association) was officially launched, by James and Christina Weidner. Charity Dream operates as a non-profit collaboration of life-giving, mission-driven initiatives, with a focus on wholistic education, community building, and orphan care. Charity Dream aims to provide the community with a platform, for children and adults, to discover and use their giftings to reach their greatest potential. Our Dream is to build a community of people who share a passion for Christ and who are affecting change in our world.
The English Learning Studies program was launch in 2011 to meet the growing demand to facilitate the smooth transition on English as second language students who desired to study in an english speaking environment. In September 2012 our community leadership Initiative was launched with 11 students. And in 2014 Creative Arts Academy (music, dance, drama, art) was launched.
Today, Oct. 2016, all these educational programs are flourishing with more than 350 students, 127 babies cared, 250 surgeries provided, hundreds of community members, and 130 mission-minded team members selflessly investing themselves into the grow and care of these life-giving initiatives.
After 8 years in Shanghai, in October 2016, The Weidner's, with their five children, ventured into Taiwan to launch more campuses and phases of this ministry.
James and Christina always entertain opportunities to itinerant and share God's Word, anointed worship, the wonderful things God is doing in their ministry and to collaborate with more like-minded ministries around the globe.
Special thanks to our families who graciously support all our efforts and to Pastors Frank and Parris Bailey and Pastors David and Beverly Sumrall for the years of trust and sowing into our lives preparing us for such a time as this!
James (Co-Founder / Chairman / Overseer ) & Christina (Co- Founder / Lead Director / Creative Arts ) Weidner
Learn more: www.CharityDreamAssociation.com