By Hannah Varberg – HCC Communications Coordinator
A touch in America can result in ripples of effect in China. God’s touch transcends cultural and geographical boundaries.
Colleen and Daisy’s stories are optimal examples of this. Their stories are authored by God so clearly and so intricately that, honestly, they could be broken into multiple blog posts. (check out Evangelizing in Marriage)
For Colleen and Daisy, both of their stories began in the same way: airport pickups.
Colleen was quick to trust Americans and immediately signed up to have a host family after being picked up by Phyllis Ose at the airport. With this step of action, Colleen soon got interwoven into the web of international student ministries: China Service Ventures, China Outreach Ministries, and of course, Hospitality Center for Chinese. As a seeker, Colleen attended Friendship Meals, acquainted herself with many Christians, and noticed an evident difference in how these people lived their lives. Her curiosity sparked her to read the Bible, start attending church, and ask questions.
“The Word itself and the people drew me in,” she explained.
After Daisy’s airport pickup, she was inclined to get involved in various HCC events and programs, like the Welcome Picnic, cooking class, and eventually Mom’s Group. The cooking instructor, Janis, had a big impact on Daisy, along with a member of Wayzata Free Church who drove all the way out to St. Paul to bring her to church. Similar to Colleen, witnessing the life of a Christian drove her to Christ.
“You can see the full gospel in a Christian person,” Daisy said.
After Colleen and Daisy’s beautiful conversion to Christianity, they tackled the biggest obstacle: returning home to Shanghai, China. New Christians are seeking discipleship and ways to serve, but this is often difficult to find in an unbelieving country like China. If new Christians can’t find a church or a community of believers when they return to China, their faith usually withers within the year, making all of HCC’s efforts null and void.
Colleen and Daisy both experienced levels of reverse culture shock. Daisy emphasized the busy everyday life in China and the suffocating pressure to perform and succeed in careers. When adapting back into her everyday life, Daisy advanced her highly successful career, her time in Minnesota only a memory. After six months of this, she asked God what was the important thing she needed to do in China.
The answer was not her highly successful career.
She quit her job, throwing aside her earthly crown of success for the purpose of the Lord. This climactic decision was an act of evangelism in itself, for many of her friends were bewildered at the reason why. When she shared her Christianity, her friends remarked that she had been brainwashed. Daisy corrected them, explaining that she was heart washed.
As in Daisy’s life, God placed divine occurrences in Colleen’s life. Upon her return to China, Colleen got connected with an American pastor who shepherded a home church. After being mentored and discipled, Colleen found it necessary to start another home church to expand the touch of Christ in China.
This is not an easy task.
Churches exist in China, but they are all government guided, and every message needs to be government approved. Therefore, the Word of God is often not clearly preached, necessitating home churches and other underground Christian institutions. Colleen planted her home church and attends it weekly.
She has also boldly taken her faith to the streets, but HCC has heard that many of these evangelism efforts have been halted by the police.
Nevertheless, Colleen endures, unhindered by the opposition to ministry.
Daisy became a stay at home mom and joined a family home church. This church has grown from 12 to 30 and has baptized many families. Recently, Daisy has taken a position at an underground Christian school where she teaches kindergarten. This position is unpaid but allows her to have time with her kids and to impact even more children with the truth of the gospel.
Daisy has not gotten stopped in the streets like Colleen, but her quiet stepping down from being a rich business woman to a volunteer teacher is a roaring testimony of Christ’s touch.
Touches in America can transfer to powerful impact in China.
When interviewed, Colleen said this to the HCC family: “Thanks HCC for helping the Chinese in so many different aspects. More importantly, you have built the bridges between many Chinese and Jesus.”
Let’s build even more bridges by commissioning re-entry.
To commission re-entry with a donation, click here.
To see an extension of Cate and Dee’s story, click here.