Getting Back To My Roots…
Have you ever been so filled with joy (and not just happiness!) that you thought you were going to explode and couldn’t contain it inside because you were created for a purpose and were somehow fulfilling that purpose according to a plan bigger than yourself? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately since returning from a short-term trip to China with a team from Mexico, and that’s what my Mexican roommates and friends have been pointing out to me recently.
The Lord has given me great joy after bringing a missions team from Mexico to China, with a sense of walking in His plan to come around full circle to my roots and calling as a Chinese-American Missions Mobilizer serving in Mexico with United World Mission’s Avance Program. Even though I grew up in a Chinese context in St. Louis, Missouri, I never really valued my Chinese heritage and culture until recently, and now I can see the importance of how God created me uniquely for His kingdom purposes. When I was a child, I never wanted to learn Chinese for fear of rejection from my American classmates, I pushed away from “OBCs” (overseas born Chinese) since I was a proud “ABC” (American-born Chinese). Even when I first visited China eleven years ago on vacation with my family, I was only slightly interested in the country of my origins.
But something changed within me since the Lord brought me to Mexico to serve as a missionary with the Avance Program many years ago and after recently returning from a 3-week trip to China with a team of Mexican pastors and mobilizers. After spending four years in Mexico as a “short-term” Avance participant, the Lord led me back to Mexico in 2007 as a career missionary. I came to be known as the “China-Chilanga” (Chinese girl in Mexico City), though I didn’t really value the Chinese part of me at that time. A few years later, I was invited to serve as the Mobilization Director in Mexico with Avance and fully focus on that area with a Mexican staff team and some of the Avance participants. We were able to implement many of the missions events and trainings from my seminary experience into our Mexican context, such as local ministry “plunges” into different diaspora groups living in Mexico City (like the Chinese, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish communities), organize city-wide missions conferences, and coordinate short-term mission trips for Mexicans to serve in other countries.
Since 2010, Avance has now sent more than 75 young adults from 10 different Mexican churches to Honduras on five different short-term missions, taken a team of Mexican pastors and young adults to Spain and N. Africa last year, and brought two Mexican pastors to China for three weeks last month. We always partner with local churches and ministries in Mexico and abroad (including the two Chinese churches trying to reach the 40,000 Chinese in Mexico City), and we mentor young adults with a heart for evangelism, discipleship and missions.
The Lord has filled my cup to overflowing because after this recent trip to China, I can see how He used my gifts and passions as a connector and friend to meet and encourage many different brothers and sisters in China (including our Mexican friends working there long-term), as a coordinator and mobilizer to organize the team logistics and share about God’s work in China, and as a songwriter and mentor to share a song of thanksgiving that my Mexican friend and I had written a few years ago in Spanish with the Spanish students in China. My new Chinese friend “Estela” learned the song during a Mexican fiesta we organized in China, and she sang it for a Spanish song competition at her university recently, and won 1st place in front of all the Spanish students and professors…Glory to God! In addition, the Lord is opening doors in China for us to organize a type of InterVarsity Global Project for Mexicans (like what I participated in Russia during my first mission trip), and my co-leader Carlos and I are contacting different student ministries in Mexico to get involved to share the Gospel with Spanish students in China and the Chinese in Mexico. The Lord is bringing me full-circle to my Chinese roots as a missions mobilizer in Mexico!
In that day you will say: “I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” Isaiah 12:1-6
By: Wendy, Serving in Mexico
Director of Mexican Missions Mobilization with Avance