Snapshots from our Workers
Oneness at Work
Submitted by Rev. Daniel Su, COM President-Elect
I started writing this message during Easter weekend when I recalled how our Lord prayed for His disciples to be one, just as He and God the Father were one. Obviously, our Lord's desire was to see unity and oneness in all believers. This oneness includes one God, one Lord, one Spirit, one faith, one baptism, one body and one hope. And it takes the whole body of Christ to effectively proclaim this message of hope.
In our ministry of sharing God’s love with China’s future leaders studying on U.S. campuses, we see this beautiful oneness at work. We see COM missionaries of various ethnic backgrounds working together. We see American and Chinese churches and individuals praying for us and supporting us. And we see our COM missionaries engaging local volunteers to reach out to Chinese students and scholars.
When people ask me what COM is all about, I think of our supporters like you. I think of our many supporting churches, our missionaries and our local volunteers. I think of our board of directors, and I think of our COM leadership and support staff. It takes more than a village — it takes all of us to share the love of Christ with Chinese students. In this sense, we are COM.
In this issue of The Panda Bearer, we report encouraging statistics as fruits of our ministry (Annual Report, page 7). I want to thank God for your part in this strategic outreach. And
ultimately, God’s hand is behind our faithful efforts. As the Apostle Paul says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” (1 Cor. 3:6 NIV) What a beautiful picture that illustrates how we serve as one body! If I could contextualize Paul’s passage to our ministry to the Chinese, the passage would say: COM shares the gospel, you pray and give, but God has been making it fruitful.
As the new president of COM, I want to thank you for your ministry with us. Together, we become God’s blessings to the Chinese in America who are far away from home. My prayer is that they will find a new home in the body of Christ.
Building relationships sometimes takes a little elbow grease.
Chinese intellectuals who study in North America are impacting China’s culture and future. COM serves these men and women by building Christ-like relationships with them. One of the best ways to begin to build these relationships is to offer programs and practical services that demonstrate Christian love and help these guests acclimate to life in the United States.
Every semester, Nick Romanin offers a hands-on automobile maintenance class at Purdue University. This past semester he says, “I was blessed to be able to advertise this pre-evangelistic service through the university!” Held on Saturdays, Nick says that they had about 40 people attend the first day. The automotive training series spans four Saturdays, and the group discusses topics like general car vocabulary, road side emergencies and some DIY tips. Nick not only lectures, he completes the classes with live demonstrations on his own car. “We even changed my oil in the parking lot,” Nick says. I let some of the students crank on wrenches for that one.”
This year, Nick and Lydia added a new level to the car class; they invited an Indiana State Trooper to come and talk to the students about traffic laws and etiquette during a traffic stop. The students were excited to get to meet and interact with a police officer as well as ask questions. Since this semester’s car class was advertised by the university, they not only had Chinese students, but Russian, Indian and Iranian internationals as well.
Pray that these students would take interest in the gospel. As Nick says, “I’ve had a lot of students tell me how the class has helped them and how some of the skills have come in handy with either their cars or friends’ cars. We make sure to let them know that it is the love of God that drives us to provide this.” [ ]
Submitted by Nick and Lydia Romanin, Purdue University
From Danny and Susan Forte, RPI and SUNY at Albany
Our apple picking and picnic day was a success. Friendships were established, spiritual conversations occurred and great fun was had in picking apples, eating hot dogs, playing games and sharing a beautiful day outside in God’s creation. Later in our home, Sue taught three of the day’s participants how to make apple pies. Each young lady was able to take her masterpiece home to share with family and friends. These types of fun events are so important in establishing friendships, trust and opportunities to share God’s love and truth.
From From Greg Gainer, Iowa State University
“I now have a reason to believe!” This is what Dawn exclaimed during our Bible class as I was explaining God’s just judgement in the great flood of Noah’s day. During our discussion of Genesis, I was trying to help them understand the concept that we are all accountable to God and that even one act of disobedience means we are deserving of God’s judgement. I then drew a connection between the ark as the only means of salvation and Jesus as our only means of salvation from eternal judgment. We are happy to say that Dawn received Jesus in late December. She has since returned to China with her family. Please pray with me for the Lord’s provision for Dawn and her family.
From Duane and Jodi Decker, Portland State Universityy
We had a Chinese scholar and his seven-year-old son live with us for the 2015-16 school year. This year we have two scholars with us! We really grow to love these guests who become life-long friends (and today, the woman became my sister in Christ)!
From Dale Voelker, University of Maryland
In September, the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, was celebrated at my house. It was a big party with about 30 students, many roommates and friends of friends. We had grilled steak, pork, hotdogs, bratwurst, iced green tea, cheesy potatoes, broccoli salad and brownies. I played two songs on the piano — Debussy’s Clair de Lune and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. This time many students invited their friends, roommates and acquaintances who have expressed interest in spiritual things. Kyle, a new believer, shared his testimony. Thank you for your prayers for these students who have never heard the gospel, never been to a church and have had very little contact with Christians. There are now eight guys studying Foundations of the Christian Faith on Tuesday evening. Please pray that their hearts and minds would be open to the gospel as they seek the truth.
From Rich and Joanna Fullner, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
A student back in China writes:
Dear Rich and Joanna,
Thanks for your reply and we are glad to know both of you are great! Hope one day, we will travel to Seattle to visit you. It’s almost ten years since we left Seattle; however, we always remember you and your kindly contribution to Chinese students and the talk time. I think you are the models to encourage people how to be a good person and remember to do the right things. Thanks again for opening the door to lead us to follow God!
Best regards and may God bless you all! [ ]
Read more snapshots from our staff in the Winter 2017 issue of The Panda Bearer. To sign up to receive our quarterly publication, please email Kim Baer at email@example.com.
“In the same way, let your light shine
before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
— Matthew 5:16 ESV