by Nathan Chu, Director of International Student Programs at Taylor University
There have been very few instances where the world of my childhood and my current life intersect. Today was one of those rare moments when my parents were able to hear about the work that I have been called to at Taylor University and to be able to participate and interact with my students and colleagues actively. Rev. Dyson and I teach a class together in the spring, Conversations on Race, where we invite guest speakers almost weekly to share their unique perspectives about race, ethnicity, and culture.
My parents were the guest speakers this week, sharing about their lifelong careers in cross-cultural ministry as Chinese missionaries to Africa. Not only did my parents reveal ‘secrets’ about me as a child to our class, which was both humorous and maybe a little embarrassing, but they also provided insights into the joys and pains, highlights and challenges…telling stories of their experiences and relationships they built over decades of overseas mission work. I could reflect on my childhood growing up in Kenya, but through my parent’s eyes, and realize (especially now as a parent) the sacrifices, fears, hopes, and strength that it took them to raise us.
My parents would return to the States and Hong Kong regularly to report and share with churches and friends, and they would often share the verse from Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Even though they are now in the retirement season of their lives, they still encourage students to pursue a vocation in overseas missions, like they have done many times.