When my wife and I adopted a baby girl from China in 1996, we had virtually no knowledge about China. We didn’t know a single Chinese person. The adoption agency that helped us strongly suggested that we learn as much as possible about China and its people and culture.
We quickly realized that one of the best ways to learn was to initiate friendships with students from China who were studying at our local university. We found that most international students never enter a home in the US, and that international students are usually eager for friendships with caring Americans. I was working full-time as a textbook sales representative and my wife was a stay-at-home mother, but we were trained as volunteers and began developing friendships with students from China. We loved meeting international students so much that we responded to God’s call and began serving full-time with an international student ministry in 2000.
As we met more students from China, we wanted to learn more about China and a colleague told us about ChinaSource. I began reading every word of the ChinaSource Quarterly. It made a huge difference in my knowledge about China. Articles about topics such as urbanization, social services, education, and business written by both Chinese and non-Chinese experts had a positive impact on our friendships with students from China because we gained knowledge and were able to engage in meaningful and deep conversation.
I also began reading ZGBriefs every week and found that the collection of news items from a variety of sources was very helpful in providing content and context for conversations with students from China.
More recently I have also appreciated Chinese Church Voices because of the unique opportunity to learn directly from sermons and articles from Christians in China.
I also value the fact that much of ChinaSource’s content, such as how to learn to speak Chinese, is practical. Over the years, I have appreciated the way ChinaSource’s content has stayed on the “cutting edge” as it has reflected the realities of this fast-changing country.
We now have a total of four children adopted from China, live in an area of California that is 75% Chinese, have visited China ten times, and have served 17 years in leadership with international student ministry. Our lives have been transformed by China and ChinaSource has played a major role. Without the breadth, depth, and quality of ChinaSource’s content over the past 20 years, my wife and I and our family would likely have far less knowledge about China, far less love for its people, and would have missed out on the remarkable changes that have occurred in China during this unprecedented time in history.
Andy serves as Director of Church Partnerships for International Students, Inc. He has ten years experience as a high school math teacher and worked for four years as a textbook sales representative. Andy and his wife, Sandy, have welcomed Chinese scholars to California Institute of Technology for more than 20 …View Full Bio
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