“I went to visit them along with a good friend to simply say thank you, and then we said goodbye,” she recalls. “And I told them, ‘I really appreciated you and how you shared you love and care for us students.’ Then they asked me, Do you want to find out why?’
Chen’s friend then accepted the Christian message of Christ Dr Jean Chen UofT and they shared it with each other.
Chen saw this conversation as a way to plant a seed for the future, and she joined the Christian fellowship of 40 people that was founded by the Christian couple who left her.
“I felt God working in my heart over the next year through small group fellowship and churches. And the Spirit truly touched me. It’s almost almost like my eyes are opened.”
Chen, who had become a Christian the previous year, was soon ready to leave medicine and follow his dream of becoming a minister.
Chen recalls thinking: “God the great physician, His Word is best for people’s emotional, spiritual and physical ailments.” “I found the real remedy for my sins and that of others. I have a burning desire to know God’s truths.
However, Christian mentors advised her that God had a purpose to bring her to the medical college. She should therefore finish her degree.
Chen would see the purpose of this mission through the English teachers at the college. These English teachers were a Christian couple who came from Britain to show Chen what it means to love orphans like the Bible commands.
“They [would] often come to the orphanage during weekends, and they needed someone to translate for them. … This was my first experience in China’s orphanage system. Even though I knew of an orphanage in China, it was something that I did not know about. It’s also really eye-opening.
“It is not pleasant. It’s very dirty and smelly. And the condition, well, there are a lot special needs kids now with all kinds of mental special needs.
“But I watched English teachers and saw how they treated those children. They changed diapers. They even wiped [runny] nostrils. They wiped their [runny noses]. This is how God’s life was and God’s love revealed through their lives and their service there. I was captivated by those children.
It was her passion for orphans which brought her to the United States early 2000s to work at two California-based orphan ministry.
Chen recalls that Chen went to Boston with a Chinese orphan child just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She was accompanied by a New Jersey woman who had previously volunteered in an orphanage in Beijing, and her husband, an expatriate, worked. Amazingly, Chen’s experience with Chen led to her being adopted by extended family members.
Chen said, “She is in a medicine school.” She wanted to help kids like her and she was a doctor.
Chen obtained a Calvary University’s biblical counseling degree just a few short years after arriving in the U.S. After her counseling training, Chen spent a decade in Chicago as a counselor before moving to Wichita Kansas to be near a family member who was in dire need. She started her ESL and Chinese language teaching at Sunrise Christian Academy Bel Aire in Kansas in 2018.
On Sept. 24, she was joined by 11 other Christian teachers from across the country, each of whom was recognized as being among the top in their respective fields. Chen was chosen for her unique approach to language teaching and her commitment towards Christian education at her school.
Chen was joined at her Table by some special guests during the Museum of the Bible awards gala. They are part of her amazing story, or, as she prefers to call it, God’s story.
Zhao Yi, the orphan Chen brought with her to Boston 21 years back, was accompanied at the time by her adoptive grandparents. These are the same New Jersey couples that organized their medical travel to the United States so many years ago.