We were blessed to have a special intern from China for eight weeks this summer. She is finishing her last year of studying graphic design at Southern New Hampshire University. Hannah shares that one of the best parts of her internship at GNPI was visiting Piedras Negras, Mexico.
by Hannah Guan, GNPI summer 2015 intern
Finding New Life in Christ
God is always worth trusting. It is right for every one of us to share the Truth. It should be our primary work to constantly look for God in every situation in our lives! I’d like to share some of my story about why I chose Jesus and how was I able to work at GNPI.
I came to the United States for a higher education, but God had a much higher education plan for my future. I know it sounds complicated, and it is. I had a long-term boyfriend, and I expected to marry him. He was planning to study in America. It was quite a confusing time for me right after I graduated from college in China, yet I chose to “continue” education instead of looking for a job with him. I was searching for potential opportunities and exploring my dream life in a brand new world. I was attracted to it, although it meant being separated from my family for a long time. What I did was for a better future, and I thought it was worth a try.
A new life is exciting, but not easy at all. It’s pretty unforgettable seeing snow, trying to remember to bless people when they sneeze, and adjusting to new foods. I had many helpless adventures: enduring endless, boring weekends and learning to order a Subway sandwich over the phone. The worst was when my boyfriend broke up with me a year later. I wished it was just a nightmare I was having because it was too awful to be true. For such hard time I chose to accept Jesus because I needed Him! I had been going to an American church and studying the Bible. I was having many troubles in my life and was trying to find answers. I had been feeling very upset until I finally gave an answer to Jesus! An answer of YES!
April 20, 2014, was a really special day when I decided to follow Christ. It happened right after a Christian concert during the communion service of the church I attended. Below is the picture I captured the very moment after I said “yes” to Jesus.
When the little box of juice and cracker were passed to my hand, I wondered if I should pass it to the next person, but I hesitated. At that time Jesus spoke to me, “Do you believe in me?” It was a voice I could feel, not hear, and it was more like a consciousness not from myself. Then I went on, “Do I have to decide it now? No? Why not? Okay! Okay! I will try, YES!”
Why am I so sure that’s how Jesus spoke to me? First, the whole time while I kept questioning and being heartbroken from a severed relationship, the only question I considered was if Jesus was really true. Second, the moment when the question came it happened as a shock to me, and I even felt it from my body. I could feel a strong fear deep down inside my heart, like getting ready for a speech in front of thousands of people. I knew that I had to make a decision at that time, although it felt so heavy for me to just give a YES. Until I did it, it still seemed impossible to me. Just like that, I decided to follow Jesus, to die for Him! He did a miracle in me!
After a short while I traveled back to China to visit my family for two months in May of 2014. It was quite a hard time of struggling and learning how to be a true believer. I wondered what it meant to be a follower of Jesus as I realized what a sinful person I was. The trip back to China was oppressive, because there was another tough decision for me and my family. My family was having a financial crisis in their business, which meant they might not be able to continue supporting my education in America. Moreover, I had to explain the break up with my ex-boyfriend. During this time in China I needed to renew both my visa and I-20, as well as all the complicated paperwork. I planned to drop out and never come back to America again. It seemed so much easier to make that decision! It was a low point in my life, and I thought it would not be a happy ending for me to go back to America. However, I wished, at least, to be able to finish my studies. I decided I would embrace whatever happened to me because I trusted in Jesus!
I tried to find God’s way while I was in China, so I looked for churches and people who might be interested in knowing Jesus. Then something very special happened. I had a friend who studied at the same university and was also a new believer. He traveled back to China around the same time as I did. He came to visit me all the way from Beijing to Guangzhou, which is about the distance as from New Hampshire to Texas. It was amazing that he helped me complete every piece of paperwork for my new visa and new I-20! Then he left after a week. I really appreciated what he did for me, but it didn’t mean that I would go back to America. The next thing that changed my decision was the love of my family. Although it would be difficult, my parents insisted on supporting me to finish my education. I was so touched by what they did. That’s the reason my faith was renewed. “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7) God sent me a vision of His way. All I needed to concern myself about was whether I was I truly trusting in Him!
A very common question had been holding me back for a long time, “What will you do after you graduate?” Most people would ask me this question when we first met. It was tough for me to answer, because I didn’t even know the answer. I wasn’t quite sure what to do after I graduated. As an international student speaking English as a second language, I didn’t think it would be easy to find a job in America. Moreover, I wasn’t doing very well in my major, so it could be hard to seek jobs, even in China. I used to consider myself as a worthless and helpless person. I needed encouragement.
On May 3, 2015, I was baptized by Pastor Wing Wong from Manchester Chinese Christian Church. It had been a year since I accepted Jesus. I was struggling with some questions about being saved. Wing Wong was the first person who told me I should get baptized if I believed in Jesus who died for my sins to save me, if I repented. He shared Romans 6:3-6, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (KJV)
I decided to give all my life to Jesus for the rest of my days! I let go of the things I’d been holding tightly and tried to entrust Jesus to allow Him lead my life.
Learning to Work for Christ
Wing Wong has a great heart for following Jesus. He has hope for me, and he likes giving opportunities to others. He asked me to help the church in different events like making a leaflet, recording the Sunday services, editing videos, and even designing a book cover! I suddenly found my value by doing these things. I began to love what I was doing because I found myself in Jesus. Since then, I’ve decided to devote my major to God.
Before summer vacation started Wing Wong asked what my plan was for this vacation. I said I wanted to find an internship. He said, “Very good! Would you like to work at GNPI, a very excellent company which spreads the Gospel through media?” I answered surprisingly, “Really? Media and Gospel? Sure, I’d love it!” A month later, my two-month internship in GNPI Joplin was confirmed by Tom Nutt. He is the person responsible for my internship, who decided my journey, and supported me like an angel. It was a kind of joy I could find no way to describe! God is awesome!
It was so exciting that God gave me opportunities to experience many different and fun things besides working. For the two-month internship I would say working was only a part of it. It’s more like a precious lesson from God to equip me as part of the Body of Christ. I call it love and mission. I still remember the day when I arrived at the Tulsa airport. Bryan Lawler, graphic project coordinator at GNPI, and his family, who hosted me, were waiting for me in the airport. Their son, Brennen, who had just turned 11, impressed me so much by insisting on helping me take care of my luggage and letting me read his comic books on the way home. I appreciated the ways he showed his love and kindness. It really calmed my heart, and all my concerns were gone.
Guess what my first project of the internship was? It was making a paper chain and cutting papers for a green screen project for a group of kids coming to tour the Joplin office. I loved it! It was my honor to have the chance to learn from, and help, everyone on GNPI’s Creative Team.
The most fun and interesting part was The Global Gospel App promo. I was fortunate to be the main character in the video!! I was also the model for ad in the Christian Standard. For most of the time I worked with Pa See Caby, the graphic designer, who is both a good partner and friend of mine. She gave me some projects to do, like creating Facebook banner designs and working on GNPI’s 40th anniversary calendar for 2016. I really appreciated having these jobs to do. I was able to learn some video filming, video editing, graphic design, photography, and audio recording, besides being an actor and a model. I suddenly became a little star! [Click here to watch a Behind-the-Scenes video also.]
Most surprisingly Tom Nutt invited me to join a mission trip for a week to Piedras Negras, Mexico.
After a long drive of 15 hours, we arrived at GNPI-Mexico around 1:30pm with total of 18 people from three families. What is a mission trip like? What were we going to do? I had no clue at all, except for embracing the tiredness after the long drive and the very refreshing temperatures in Mexico. Yet I figured it out when I saw them beginning work.
They were such amazing people used by God in good ways!
They fixed the air conditioning, ran electric lines, repainted the walls, and remodeled kitchen of a local church in just one day! We helped organize a VBS at a church, making crafts with the children, singing, and dancing to praise the Lord together.
We also painted the Garden of Eden mural in a classroom of the church.
The highlight of this trip was the morning discussions and the food. Although our schedule was very full and rushed, we all attended the Bible discussion at 7:30 every morning. This time of studying God’s Word and putting it into a practical experience helped me make much more sense of why we were there.
The meals were definitely another highlight! They nourished our bodies and satisfied our tummies. However, what I mean by that is not only because the foods were delicious, but also those who prepared the meals added their love into the ingredients, making everything taste especially good. Those women took care of our stomachs and served us like kings every single meal. They had such great servant hearts for God! I was touched by that deep down in my heart, and it’s exactly what we needed to have as we worked.
“His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planned by the streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:2-3)
I don’t deserve anything by my own efforts, but I’m blessed because of God’s grace. Jesus saved me, renewed my life, and guided me to the Truth! All these things in my life have shown me that He is real. Jesus is my super star, and I’m a follower of Him. Whoever dies for Him, He will raise him up from death.
I am thankful for God’s leading in my life!