1. Expecting Great Things from God
Last April we moved from New Mexico to Colorado to be closer to family. God has blessed the move in so many ways. One of our prayer requests was for discernment in continuing our ministry with students from Mainland China as we had done in Albuquerque. Colorado State University-Pueblo is located here.
By the time we were able to make connections with the International Program office at CSUP, the semester was nearly over and most of the students were leaving to travel or return home for the summer. We were told there were about 20 Chinese students studying here. Not a big group, but a place to start.
We subsequently were able to meet four of those students during the summer. They told us that they heard there would be 10 new students from China coming in the Fall. So we started praying for the fall semester and for opportunities to meet and develop relationships with both current and new students from China.
William Carey (early missionary to India) always said, "Expect great things from God." In August we were invited to join a special orientation session for the newly arrived students from China. Imagine our surprise and delight when we walked into the room and were introduced to 25 new Chinese students! About half are here in a special program to complete dual degrees from CSUP and their home university in China. The other half are here for the English Language Institute. So we met them all and the very next night invited them to join us for dinner at a local Chinese restaurant.
Twenty-one of them came! So now we have contact information for each one and are planning future events to get to know them better!
Submitted by John and Karen Zondlo, Colorado State University, Pueblo
2. Coming to America
Often we are questioned about what happens to the scholars after they accept Christ and return to China. After their public baptism here in America, they have officially declared their allegiance to Christ. Here are two stories of what has happened to scholars after their conversion and baptism and return to China:
Fifteen years ago, we invited "M," one of our English class students, to our home for a special dinner. We didn't know it happened to be his birthday too!. He attended our Bible study faithfully. One day he told us that he wanted to be a Christian, so that he would have a better life, but he wasn't interested in eternal life. After we explained it more clearly, he was very happy and later told us that he couldn't keep this great news to himself, he just had to share it with his family.
In 1999 he returned to China as a professor of Plant Physiology in a city with a strong Muslim influence. For a while, he was afraid to let anyone know that he was a Christian, because he was constantly pressured to follow the communist teaching. To protect his family and his job, he attends a house church.
His parents who live in another city became Christians a few years ago, but his wife hasn't yet. "M" told us that if she would come to America, he believes that she would also become a Christian. He continues to pray that God will open the hearts of his family and friends.
We know God is helping his faith to grow stronger. Even though he is in a high position as a vice-dean, he told us that in his biology class he tells his students, "I must teach evolution, but I believe in creation."
Submitted by Ben and Cathy Bidelspach, Penn State
3. The Bible ... It Isn't Logical
"So, what are your thoughts about the Bible Study tonight?" I asked one of the new China scholar wives. "In my education," she explained, "I was taught that science and the Bible...it isn't logical. You can't prove it." A few months later, as we walked down a stairway, we talked about the Gospel, the good news of salvation, and how much God loved her. I told her that I and others were praying for her.
On another occasion she and her husband visited our home. She heard testimonies of other believers. She told me she had been given material to read in Mandarin.
One Sunday afternoon we met together and she announced, "I've made my decision. I don't know everything, but I believe God wants me to step out in faith. He died in my place." In the months to follow, we looked into God's Word for answers to questions about her new life in Christ:
"How can I know the Bible is true? What does God look like? What if a do something wrong now? How can I tell my mother? We also discussed how to find a Bible teaching church in China when she returns and the importance of reading the Bible regularly. We prayed for her unsaved husband. She told me how she needed courage to tell her parents when she returned to China.
Shortly after that, the Chinese church announced a baptism service, and her name was on the list! What a joy to see God guiding her! She has recently returned to China. Pray that she finds other believers in her city, and a church fellowship to encourage and build up her newfound faith.
Submitted by Gregg and Nancy Smyrl, U of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
China Outreach Ministries shares Christ’s love with Chinese students and scholars from North American campuses, serving them, reaching them with the Good News, discipling them, and helping them become godly leaders for Christ who share their faith with others.
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Coming to America | Forever Changed