Chee came to the US from Beijing, China in 1992 as an unbeliever. She came to receive higher education training here in the US and now has a successful career working at a clinical testing center. Married in China, her husband Yong came to the US later on a visa. Restricted from working, adjusting to a new country, and being less fluent in English immediately put a strain on their marriage. Struggling between rearing two toddlers and having a marriage in turmoil, they stepped into a church at the invitation of keen Christian friends. As a result, both Yong and Chee repented and surrendered their hearts to the Lord, allowing their marriage to gradually heal and their family to remain restored. By the year 2000, both were baptized and later faithfully serving in the church with a renewed perspective on life.
A decade later, the freshness of church life gradually declined and the couple saw the dark side of church splits and leadership fallout. This struck a heavy blow to their faith, reaching a critical low point of seeking the true meaning of Christian life beyond serving those already saved. Without mentors to disciple them, Chee felt lost. The Next Step Ministry of AFC (Ambassador For Christ, PA) provided the much-needed mentoring that she needed at the time. Then in 2015, Chee decided to take the Kairos course at AFC as the only believer from her church and made the drive from Maryland to Pennsylvania. The course opened her eyes to God’s vision for the nations and the shocking reality of being such a self-centered Christian. She acknowledged that her top-line blessing was no longer self-serving, but a blessing to share with others in need of the gospel around her. This new spark of mobilization was all that she needed to immediately get to work and begin her mobilization journey.
At the encouragement of her mentors, she promoted the course and was pleasantly surprised to learn that her church had 11 participants registered for Kairos, including deacons and her pastor. Because of this great response, the first Chinese Kairos course in Maryland was hosted at her home church within a simple office setting. An introvert by nature, Chee initially helped administratively by writing emails to promote the course and logistically hosted facilitators at her home who traveled from various states. Her church then offered facilitator training and hosted graduates from her home church and others from California and Washington.
From her class, eight new mobilizers were on fire and trained as facilitators by Pastors Isaac & Joseph under the umbrella of the Gospel Operation International ministry that serves alongside the Chinese diaspora in America. Recognizing her heart for mobilization, Pastor Joseph first encouraged Chee to become a facilitator. Two years later, she trained as a Head Facilitator. Even though she felt unqualified and recognized that Chinese Church culture tends to accept ordained male leaders more naturally, witnessing the obvious change in participants was so rewarding and encouraging to Chee that she accepted her new role. With that same desire to see others mobilized, Chee has now been a part of organizing and facilitating more than ten Kairos courses and has helped grow a team of twenty-five facilitators in Maryland.
Yong has also taken Kairos and has become a facilitator, joining his wife in this most recent course to help lead. His story is another of how God chose the weak and lowly to become His servant. Two years after being baptized, Yong responded to an altar call not realizing that the altar call was for missional work. Seventeen years later, Yong answered that call by forming a Business as Missions team with the full support of his wife. He has taken an early retirement and is devoted to full-time mobilization and missionary care by connecting missionaries to mission organizations and resources. He regularly visits missionaries to encourage them and connect them with either the local church or American-Chinese churches.
With these connections in the field, long-time missionary friends of the couple were also invited to give cross-cultural encouragement. A Korean-to-China missionary couple who are fluent in Chinese and have ministered in China for twenty years, joined in delight as a real-life example for Chinese Christians to do the same. An estimated 90% of missionaries have been kicked out of China and are blocked from ministering in the country within the last five years. Persecution has increased and the Chinese church is in need again of believers willing to partner in the Great Commission. They encouraged this group of participants to use their nationality as a means of freely entering their mother country to minister and expand the Kingdom among the unreached. Joined by our National Director, Colleen Di Raddo, and her husband Pastor Jim, all gathered over the group in prayer during the final class in hopes of another mobilization spark to ignite.
This hybrid course graduated 19 participants with a team of 8 facilitators. This was the first in-person Chinese Kairos course in Maryland in four years due to Covid. The greater DC Metro area has a high Chinese population with over twenty Chinese churches. With busy schedules, the appeal of taking Kairos online during Covid wasn’t successful. Practical classes on counseling, child-rearing, or financial planning seemed more attractive, but the idea of taking a paid course on missions seemed too far of a stretch. Like many of us, the mere mention of missions scares many church members of either fear of being unqualified or of the perceived hardship of missions. The beauty of the course is realizing that mobilization and missions are meant for every believer right where you are. It is more about the change in your worldview from self-centered to God-centered.
Since its inception, the Kairos course has steadily gained organic momentum in the Maryland area over the last few years. It all started with prayer and cooperation from three local churches who joined together in faith to mobilize their community. Chee’s prayer began written on a reflection worksheet whilst taking Kairos and asking God to allow more courses to spread to more churches including her own. All of these years later, God has faithfully answered that prayer and mobilized many through that single heart of faith. Now Chee is praying with other believers to carry forward that vision to see churches in Virginia mobilized and hosting Kairos courses. Will you faithfully join in prayer with her?