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Thoughts from the president
NEWS YOU CAN USE
Thoughts from the President
Together, Giving Christ to China’s Future Leaders
As we celebrate this new year, we are excited to present a new look and a new name for our COM magazine. The beautiful new logo gives COM a fresh presentation for our visual materials. There is also powerful meaning in the Chinese characters: The pronunciation is “You, Ai, Zhong, Hua,” which means “befriending and loving the Chinese.” The red square represents a traditional Chinese seal.
For many years The Panda Bearer of the Good News (later shortened to The Panda Bearer) has served us well in sharing the amazing stories of God at work through COM. IMPACT will serve the same vital purpose. We’ll present the stories of changed lives our readers love, along with information and features that keep you connected in our partnership.
Everything we do in COM—missionaries serving on campus, training new missionaries, raising funds for operational expenses—everything is done to make an impact on the lives of Chinese scholars and students. This impact means that they return to China transformed by the Gospel as agents of God’s blessings for their family, community, and country.
IMPACT’s new subtitle, Together, Giving Christ to China’s Future Leaders, emphasizes our partnership with you. Without our supporters’ essential part in prayer and giving, the COM ministry would not be possible. Together, we are “giving Christ to China’s future leaders.” This has been the vision statement for COM as an organization for almost three decades. We are still resolutely committed to this vision from the Lord.
Thank you for your loyalty and faithfulness to the vision of China Outreach Ministries. As we move forward together in this new year, may God bless us with a greater impact for his glory!
-- Daniel Su, COM President
Collaboration on Campus
SNAPSHOTS FROM OUR WORKERS IN THE FIELD
Many of our COM staff are discovering the power of teamwork as they partner with other campus organizations and churches for greater impact.
[ ] Our biggest event was a Chinese Welcome Party we co-sponsored with Bridges International. We had about 170 people attend, including numerous volunteers. We had fun activities, a free meal, a five-minute talk in Chinese, and explanations of upcoming events. On their cards, 46 Chinese asked to be added to our email lists and 24 expressed interest in a Bible study.
— Thomas and Casey Liu, UCF, Orlando, Florida
[ ] We took 23 people to visit the Noah’s Ark life-size model in Kentucky. This was the first trip we have organized with an American Church.
— Xin Luan & Ying Deng, Pennsylvania State University
[ ] Our team was praying about what to do in the fall for Bible study and thought about helping out with the Alpha Course offered on campus by another ministry. As it turns out, our help was welcome—In fact, the program was not going to be held until our help was offered. One Chinese undergrad student has become a Christian and is plugged into our church for discipleship. Alpha is a very winsome presentation of the gospel and hits a lot of barriers people have to faith. We have about eight Chinese students that come weekly.
— Tom and Kathy Lindstrom, St. Paul, Minnesota
[ ] In November I helped UC Riverside ISI with a Harvest Party at The Grove Church. Those who came enjoyed “The Electric Slide” line dancing, and “Billy” showed up with his country bumpkin humor. It is a refreshing look at some of American culture that is good and wholesome.
— Brenda Harris, University of California Riverside
News You Can Use
We know that many of our IMPACT readers are actively, personally engaged in Chinese outreach as volunteers through churches and campus ministries. In “News You Can Use” our editorial staff presents insights to help us all in building relationships with our Chinese neighbors.
How do I explain the gospel in a way my Chinese friend will understand?
In November, COM staff members had the opportunity to participate in a webinar about “Honor/Shame” with theologian Jackson Wu. Here, we share a little of what we learned that may be helpful to our IMPACT readers.
Did you know that the word for “sin” is translated into Chinese as “ZUI” which is usually translated as “crime?” Due to the limitation of the Chinese characters in expressing the biblical concept of sin, there are no better words. Clearly, this narrows the scope and limits our presentation of the gospel. Jackson Wu encourages us to explain the gospel using the Chinese concept of honor and shame, in terms like losing or lacking “face” and dishonoring God. Wu’s presentation gave our staff a new look into the dynamics of Chinese cultural motifs. The good news is that Jesus has true “face,” and through him we can actually gain “face” that we cannot lose!
For more helpful tools, visit www.jacksonwu.org. Click on the “media” tab for his approach in presenting the Gospel.
WHY GIVE TO COM?
Mobilizing for the Gospel
The leadership team for COM Mobilization works together toward a common goal—mobilizing men and women to serve in the Harvest among Chinese students and scholars at American universities. The team is quick to clarify, though, that the entire COM community is part of the work of mobilization.
Don and Myrna Hines, VPs of Mobilization, focus on connecting with candidates. This is a process of prayerful coaching, exploring, discerning, and guiding potential new staff members through the application process. Jesse Burns, Human Resources administrator, conducts interviews, leads the onboarding process for new staff, and manages employee benefits and visa applications. Don, Myrna, and Jesse work together in identifying new candidates as they represent COM at conferences, conduct seminars, and communicate within the COM community. In their own words, this is a glimpse of the work Don, Myrna, and Jesse are doing through COM.
How do you see God at work, during these exciting days, in mobilizing new COM team members?
Myrna: I love coming alongside persons as they respond to God’s call and move into ministry, and I rejoice to see how He guides and provides for them. Jesse: One of the most exciting new developments is the recent increase in Chinese staff who are applying to join COM. They lend a unique insight to those we serve. Don: Our Chinese staff come to us with great passion and a deep burden to reach others like themselves who come to the United States to study or do research.
What is most rewarding about your work?
Jesse: Our team is truly inspiring. And I don’t just mean our staff—I also mean our supporters. My role allows me to constantly interact with so many different parts of the COM team. I don’t think a week passes without me hearing a story of a new life led to Christ, or how God has provided for a specific need, or how a returnee to China is flourishing in their new faith despite hardships and obstacles.
This summer you had opportunity to travel to China for a teaching assignment independent of your COM role. How has this experience helped you in your ongoing work with COM?
Don: Our summer teaching helps us stay abreast of the cultural and political climate in China. This helps as we talk with potential candidates because we can share from personal experience what it is like to work with students and scholars. It also gives us a personal connection with Chinese candidates and others who have served in China or worked with Chinese.
With the number of Chinese students and scholars on US campuses now approximately 400,000, what challenges does COM face in meeting the tremendous needs and opportunities?
Myrna: The first challenge is to find and mobilize sufficient staff. A second challenge is adapting to the changing needs of Chinese students and scholars. A third challenge is dealing with political changes in China and restrictions that can make the Chinese more hesitant to get involved with Christians.
What are your goals as a team for the next year?
Don: Our primary goal is to mobilize six new staff per year. We have a particular focus on mobilizing additional staff for the Pacific Northwest.
How can readers pray for your team?
Jesse: Please continue to pray for us in helping our new staff members face the challenges of the transition process. For our Chinese staff seeking US residency, the path and process can be quite arduous.
Myrna: Pray for wisdom to connect with potential candidates and to help them discern and obey God’s call. Pray for the Lord to provide additional mobilization team members, particularly ones equipped to reach a younger generation.
If readers know of someone interested in joining the COM staff, please contact any member of the mobilization team: Don (firstname.lastname@example.org), Myrna (email@example.com), or Jesse (firstname.lastname@example.org). Office phone: 717-591-3500. Initial communication would include an overview of the application process and conversation about education, experience, and how God is working in their lives.
Discovering Truth, Kindness, and Beauty
Personal story, told by “Jem,” a new follower of Jesus
Submitted by Rev. Ken Wagoner, Director of Campus Ministries
As you may know, China is a country with no religious belief. In such a country, the pursuit of truth, kindness, and beauty means a lot more for its citizens, including myself. I spent my childhood in my grandparents’ home. They not only raised me up with everything they have, but taught me by their everyday practice how to be kind, caring, confident, how to establish better relationships with others and become a better man! I know these are also qualities which would describe a Christian, but I am learning how much I need God to help me have these qualities.
Frankly speaking, I didn’t get a chance to learn the Bible and learn about Christianity when I was in China, but as an English major I knew a few Bible stories.
One month after I came to Pittsburgh, I went to a meeting for international students for the first time. Before the start of the activity I found many Bibles on a desk, and I asked a volunteer whether I could get one. Then I met Ken and he told me I can get one for free, and I told him I’m interested in studying the Bible, and then I started to learn it with him. As I study the Bible, I feel more and more strongly the power of God and the love of God for everyone. He even sacrificed his son to save us, the sinful people.
So I have made a decision to become a follower of Jesus. I have started to go to the church for worship every Sunday and keep reading the Bible every day, and I’m learning how to pray. I’m trying hard to get closer and closer to the Lord! As what I’m reading in Proverbs chapter 3 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
I trust in the Lord and will always trust him, truly and sincerely. I know I not only need to keep reading the Bible, but also try to understand the truth in it with all my heart. Only by so doing will I become a good son of God. I’m happy to tell you that my family supports me and I will be talking to them as I’m growing as a Christian. And I firmly believe the Lord will show me what is the right and best way for me!
I’m equally happy to tell you I’ve become one of you. I will pray for us, for our family and friends, and for everyone! Thank you all!
I believe that the youth of China are the best hope for taking Jesus back to their country. From my reading I have learned how much hunger there is for “something more.” The Chinese people have been told there is no god, no religion, no afterlife. But the Chinese youth of today are seeking—and many of them receive Christ. Many of them will return to China to become teachers and leaders—and together with Jesus Christ, they will lead others to Him. I support COM also because I believe they use the money they receive prayerfully, wisely, and true to God’s will.
…a gift to COM and lifetime income for YOU!
Gift annuities are a wonderful way to provide a gift to the outreach of COM and provide for you and your loved one. Some of the multiple benefits include:
• Receive payments for your life and the life of your loved
one (either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually).
• A portion of your payment may be tax-free.
• Take an immediate tax deduction for a portion of
your initial gift.
• You may defer your payments to a later date and
thereby increase the rate.
• Reduce capital gains through a contribution of
For more information and a no-obligation example of your own unique plan, call Jeff Krimmel in the COM Development Office at 717-591-3500, or email him at email@example.com. Blessings to you in 2018!
Mr. and Mrs. “Snuffy” Smith have supported COM for approximately 60 years and still counting.
A Lifetime of Giving
At age 96, the Honorable L. Eugene “Snuffy” Smith is still on mission. It’s been his way of life. Military service during WWII. Running a family business. Elected to the state legislature. And still to this day—building God’s Kingdom. Mr. Smith’s life has been a series of adventures, and one of the longest-standing of those adventures is his involvement with China Outreach Ministries.
Smith and his wife of 72 years, Jean, are among COM’s most loyal financial supporters. They say they’ve lost count of the exact number of years, but it all began sometime in the 1950s. And they don’t think they’ve missed a year of giving since.
The nickname “Snuffy” dates back to Mr. Smith’s Boy Scout days. One of his fellow troop members pinned the label when the rambunctious cartoon character “Snuffy Smith” debuted in the comic strips. And it stuck. Years later when the governor of Pennsylvania greeted him as “Snuffy,” he decided it was “still alright,” and he never gave it up.
The 1940s were formative years for Smith’s sense of duty and calling. Serving as an Army Air Forces B-17 pilot, he flew military operations into Germany 28 times. He doesn’t view himself as a hero, though. “I just did my job,” he insists.
Settling back in Pennsylvania after the War, the Smiths first discovered COM (then COCM) through the zeal of their young pastor. Enthusiastic about world missions, the pastor organized a missionary conference at the church and brought in COCM. At the time, the ministry operated from England, sending missionaries and supporting radio broadcasts in China.
Upon learning about the mission of COCM, Mr. Smith says he “saw it was a great place to get involved with the Lord.” The Smiths made their first contribution at that time. Mr. Smith’s vocational interests were also expanding along the way. Operating a family tire business, he developed a concern for economic development in his community and state. First elected mayor of the town of Punxsutawney, he later went on to become a Pennsylvania state representative. In this role, he worked vigorously for strengthening the banking system and for expanding low-to-moderate income housing.
The Smiths’ family has grown over time, too, as they have been blessed with three children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. The Smiths have also known the grief of loss as their oldest daughter died six years ago of cancer. Their family legacy now extends from Pennsylvania to Oregon to California. Their 12-year-old blond granddaughter once accompanied them on a COM trip to China with then-COM President Earnest Hummer. She particularly “made a big hit” with the Chinese locals, Mr. Smith recalls.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith have pressed on with their COM support throughout all the changes in their lives as well as through the changing dynamics in Chinese culture and ministry. The vision of reaching Chinese students and scholars on US campuses is something they have embraced with great enthusiasm. “I see these young people from China coming here and taken care of the way COM takes care of them,” he explains, “and many of them give their lives to the Lord.” This is an encouragement, he says, because many of these students and scholars will go back to China as leaders.
Many of the Smiths’ friends who have been active in COM support have now passed on, Mr. Smith says. Their work carries onward though, as their gifts continue to reach generations of today and those to come.