When Chinese parents send their child to an American university, they expect her to return home with a degree and the opportunity to begin a career. But one student from central China returned home with much more.
After attending a Baptist university, Wenny* brought home a transformed life just over a year ago -- sharing a message about Jesus that transformed her parents as well.
Having committed her life to Christ as a student at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., Wenny returned to her hometown of Wuhan in late 2011 and found a Christian church to attend. An opportunity to share her testimony during a worship service arose, and she invited her parents. When the pastor called people to commit their lives to Jesus, Wenny's parents responded.
"They accepted Christ, and I was so surprised," Wenny told Baptist Press, "because I thought it would take a lot of time -- two or more years -- for them to accept Christ.
"But it happened on that day."
Dean Whitaker, Cumberlands' director of campus ministries and Baptist Collegiate Ministry, said it's just one example of the worldwide impact of BCM.
"The world literally comes to our doorsteps through our campuses every semester," Whitaker told BP in an email. "... When we reach one international student with the Gospel and discipleship, we become missionaries throughout the world through them. Wenny is a beautiful example of God's sovereign hand drawing people into relationship with Him to advance His Kingdom to the ends of the earth."
In August 2008 when Wenny began her college studies in America, she seemed an unlikely candidate to embrace Christianity -- much less take it back to China. An atheist, she "thought Jesus was a western Buddha or a character from a story, like Cinderella or Snow White." She also "thought the people who believed in gods were absurd."
But God was at work. When Wenny decided to study in America, her second cousin who lived in Canada helped find a university and make all the necessary arrangements for her to attend. However, the cousin went into a coma from brain cancer before Wenny arrived to see her in person. She never revived and soon died.
Amid her grief, Wenny learned that her cousin was a Christian and that her university was a Christian school. Wenny still wonders whether her cousin's help was an intentional act of Christian witness.
"After I had been there for one month, I realized that almost everybody tried to tell me about Jesus and wanted to take me to church," Wenny recounted. "I had a thought that all Americans are Christians. And then my friend told me that our college is a Christian school.
"... I was surprised because I never thought about going to a religious school. But the people at the school were very kind, so I was OK with the Christian part."
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SOURCE: Baptist Press