Our non-profit organization is happy to introduce you to Sunny. Sunny is a doctor from China who spent a year doing research at the Mayo Clinic. She began to study Conversational and Medical English at the POBLO International Ministries Friendship Center in Rochester, MN in March of 2017. Then she joined the Bible Reading Class, started attending church with a POBLO volunteer, and was baptized after being instructed. The following is from an interview with Sunny:
She said, “It’s a happiness for me to share my faith story.”
“I love my country, so I wish Americans would learn more about China. It’s not like several decades ago, the old China; now it’s very modern and developed and charming. I really hope Americans can know the real China and love the Chinese too.”
“POBLO really helps us a lot. When I had just arrived here, I saw the POBLO sign that English studies were available. In China, we study English from childhood, but that’s not enough. We can read and write, but can’t speak well, so to study in Mayo as a researcher, I had to improve my spoken English. Not only does POBLO help us improve our English speaking, but we also learn a lot about American customs.
Molly’s class always talks about holidays, and we discuss how to take care of our children. I’m always invited to events, like apple picking and flower planting, and to attend church services. What a wonderful place for us!
Students always wonder and ask, “Why do the POBLO volunteers always help us the way they do?” I’m so impressed by your kindness. You always help us for no reason — you just do it! In China, we struggle for a better life. It’s not easy. People strive for good jobs and a good salary — it’s kind of selfish, but we have to.
So when we see people here trying to help others for no reason, it’s really impressive. I think it’s because the people here are Christians. Seeing all this, I thought, ‘If Christians teach you to be kind, as they treat us like we are sisters and brothers, I want to be one of the Christians.’ I wish for the Chinese people to become part of the big family of God by believing in Jesus.
What the Chinese believe among my generation in China, most people don’t believe in any religion. They believe in science, just as the government asks them to do. The government tells people not to follow any religion. Many older Chinese believe in Buddhism. Buddhist followers don’t meet every week, but go to the temple on special days, to light a candle, burn incense, pray, make their requests, and give thanks.
At the temples, people pray to various gods. Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess, is said to fulfill your wishes. So if it’s something really important, for example, students taking the college entrance exam, their parents will go to the temple to pray. Or if a couple wants to have a baby etc.
Becoming a Christian in China, as I was growing up, not many people around me believed in Jesus. The first time I went to church in China was when a university classmate shared with me the story of Christmas and told me how she had come to believe in Christ. I was curious at that time, so I went with her to her church. I was told that there is only one God. My reaction then was typical of many Chinese: We have many questions and find it hard to understand exactly what Christians believe.
The first time I attended church in America was on Easter. My teacher from the POBLO Friendship Center had invited me. The Easter celebration encouraged me to attend church regularly. I had thought it would be difficult to understand the Bible message in English. Surprisingly, I found I could understand the pastor who always had a story to catch my attention.
One day while in church, I had an idea. I asked Sandy, my teacher and friend, “Can I be baptized here?” Sandy arranged a meeting with the pastor, and the pastor got to know me better. I learned more about God during the Bible class. I was told I didn’t have to know everything to be baptized, but that as soon as I believed in God and what Jesus Christ did for our salvation, I could be baptized.
I don’t know the whole Bible yet, but I like to share God’s love with my friends. One of my neighbors came to my baptism after I invited her. I’d been helping her family, and she wanted to know why Christians do good things for people. I have another friend who’s from China. When I first told him that I would be baptized, he had some unpleasant words for me because, in his opinion, the church is not good.
He said, “If you want to get a promotion when you return to China, you shouldn’t become a Christian.”
I didn’t want to quarrel with him, so I just invited him to church. When he came to the Bible class, he confessed that he had misunderstood the church, but that now he wanted to know more. I feel you don’t need to convince somebody who doesn’t believe, you just need to share your story and happiness, and maybe someday they will also believe.
Thanks, POBLO International Ministries!
Our English may not be good enough to express how thankful we are for this International Friendship Center! We Chinese students get together and talk about POBLO people and stories. We are impressed by the selflessness and meaningful life POBLO’s volunteers have shared with us.”
Prayer Request From Our Non-Profit Organization:
Please pray for Sunny as she returns to China that she will find Christian friends and fellowship there, and for relationships with her husband and family.