Hannah Lau oversees marketing and communications for ChinaSource. She is also the author of Wherever You Go: A Conversation about Life, Faith, and Courage. Here is the book description:
Strangers Corrie Lee and Keiko have just graduated from university and moved to China to start their first jobs. Corrie believes that God has called her there, while Keiko is in it for the work experience. No matter the reason, life in China quickly becomes about more than just that. Through a friendship over email, Corrie and Keiko agonize, laugh, share, and commiserate over the big and small things in life.
The format of the book is unique—the back and forth emails between Corrie and Keiko. As their friendship deepens, we get a glimpse of the joys and struggles of cross-cultural service.
I recently put three questions to Hannah.
1. Why did you write the book?
To be honest, I never intended to write a book. It started off as processing my journey of being a tent-maker in China. But as I began to journal, the Lord revealed to me that my experiences may have been mine, but the truths that he spoke into those experiences were neither unique to me nor unique to China. In fact, they were truths that young people could relate to all around the world. That’s when I felt I needed to share my story.
2. For someone who is considering serving overseas, what is the main message of this book?
No matter how much preparation we have, following where the Lord leads will never be what we expect it to be, good and bad. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Lord is still our guide and has an amazing plan in mind. Yes, the Lord will be with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9), but he also has a “go” that he has prepared each of us for and that may look different as seasons change. Don’t let the call itself overshadow the giver of calls. Stay close to his heart and be ready to respond to his leading.
3. What do you say to those who are in difficult situations? Should they just remain and “bear the cross,” or are there legitimate reasons to walk away?
Despite having gone through my fair share of difficult situations and now written about it, I still don’t have a concrete answer to whether we should “bear the cross” or “walk away.” I think culturally, as a Chinese, we’re encouraged to stick it out and persevere. In fact, suffering through hard things is even honorable. But God’s character is different; it’s not either of the extremes. So, for those who are coming from a similar cultural space, be open to the idea that walking away may be an option. Sometimes the Lord wants us to endure a situation to build us up, but sometimes he offers freedom and a way out. In the latter case, it’s ok to take it. Ultimately, each situation is different. I believe that is to help us lean into our relationship with Christ and see it as a journey as opposed to a formula to be followed.
You can find more about the book and where to purchase it on our book page.
Joann Pittman is senior vice president of ChinaSource and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University... View Full Bio