By Tim Grunditz – HCC Executive Director
In 1992, the Hospitality Center for Chinese was officially formed and recognized as a 501-c3. Our origins were primarily thanks to a few families who had an enormous passion for China. Several families had lived in China, done missions to China, or adopted from China and wanted to continue extending the love of Christ to the Chinese people in Minnesota.
In 2014, the executive director baton was passed to me.
Though a few things changed in HCC’s DNA, the mission and vision remained the same as our founders. We exist to reach Chinese students, scholars, and family members with the love of Christ through hospitality.
One adjustment in 2014 was an increased emphasis on mobilizing the Church. It is my contention that with 10,000 international students from over 130 countries and 2,250 evangelical churches in the Twin Cities, we are sitting on a gold mine of workers and resources to fulfill the Great Commission. As of the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, HCC had 53 fellowships partnering with us; 18 had missions that extended to all nations, or at least one nationality other than Chinese.
Meanwhile, HCC’s programing was growing rapidly, and we were running into students from all over the world. Our furniture ministry is well known at the UMN, and when we have had an abundance of furniture, we have been able to meet the needs of non-Chinese students alongside our Chinese guests. This situation happened as we developed partnerships with apartments on campus, and apartment leadership took the initiative to promote HCC’s events to residents.
HCC has never checked identification for international guests to receive our services and resources. Since I began volunteering with HCC 8 years ago, I have seen a few international students from other countries attend events. We have not had a strategy in place to systematically care for these future leaders of other countries. Our goal and focus has always been to offer the “love of Christ through hospitality to Chinese.” In good conscience and as stewards of the Gospel, we now have a system in place to connect the right resources to the right people groups.
With little-to-no extra work by HCC’s staff, we are acting as a conduit for our partner fellowships and ministries to be able to minister to students from all nations, while we orchestrate more touches of Christ’s love to Chinese. All the while, we do this with a more efficient budget.
As communicated in October, our program coordinator Josh Driver began transitioning into the employment of two organizations in partnership. Josh’s salary in now being covered 100% by OASIS, and his job is to connect pockets of international students not being reached by any other organization. We are now collaborating with 6 apartment complexes, and Josh is the one running with it. Since the launch of our partnership on November 1, OASIS and HCC have collaborated the Thanksgiving hosting program and 3 other activities.
Over 70% of the students, scholars, and family members we are reaching through our partnership with OASIS are Chinese. We are utilizing ministries that have an all-nations focus more efficiently, and of the 168 touches of Christ’s love, we have impacted the souls of students from more than 11 different countries.
In June, we launched a one-year joint venture with Connexions International (CXI). This is when we warmly welcomed Amy Wang onto staff as program coordinator. 40% of Amy’s time is dedicated to programming that benefits CXI and HCC. These are activities that we can promote to Chinese only, and some are for all nationalities. 60% of her time is dedicated to HCC specific programs like our friendship meals, Chinese day trips, and overnights.
From September 1 to December 1, HCC and CXI opened 88 different events or classes to the Chinese students, scholars, and family members. This means that in the first three months of this school year, a total of 230 opportunities were offered for a Chinese guest to come to an activity and receive hospitality by trained, loving volunteers. Of the 693 touches in joint venture activities, 671 were Chinese: 97%
As executive director of the Hospitality Center for Chinese, it’s my pleasure to announce that we currently have a way to bring in more money to pay staff, reach more Chinese, and have systems to care for the other international students we meet! The donations and volunteers intended to reach Chinese are still reaching Chinese, and those purposed to reach all nations are being utilized for that.
Thank you for your passion and support of HCC, and may 2018 be the year we reach every single one of the 3,400 Chinese students, scholars, and family members at the UMN with the love of Christ.