Monday, June 22, 2015

From the Campus to the World!

Gospel transformation in and through family connections!  

For someone like me who received an atheist education since I was very young, the Bible was no different than any other collection of ancient myths. Many people have tried to share the Gospel with me... but I could not understand or agree with it.....

A couple of weeks ago Nick Biebel married Ronkui Han (class of '15) I got to be a part of their wedding ceremony which was definitely an honor.  I've known Nick since he was a freshman; he was part of a Community Group (Bible study) that I lead with Edgar Lei.  
The story of how God has worked in and through Nick and Ronkui is so good, I just wanted to share some of the high points here!  It's a story of how God works on campus and how that reverberates out into the world!

As I mentioned, Nick plugged in with us here in Cru pretty much right away.  He'd become a follower of Christ towards the end of high school though a youth group that a friend invited him to attend.   The youth program at Valley Bible Church helped Nick to understand and believe the gospel.   In the fall of 2010 Nick came to Cornell to study Plant Science.

It was in the Plant Science department that Nick met Ronkui Han.  Ronkui is actually from China and she came out here to the U.S. specifically for school.  Nick and Ronkui had some classes together and they were also part of a plant breeding club.  As they spent time together they started becoming pretty good friends.  They talked about a lot of stuff, including faith, God and "religion."  Nick is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ and so the topic came up pretty often.  God used those conversations to provoke interest and curiosity in Ronkui.

Somewhere during Ronkui's sophomore year, one of our student leaders named Kaytlin (Kimball) was out on campus with some of the girls in her Community Group.  They were initiating spiritual conversations with people.  In a divine appointment Katylin met Ronkui! Some would say "randomly" but we can see God's providence too clearly to use that word!   Ronkui didn't know Katylin, but that day they started a friendship with Jesus at the center.  Ronkui started attending Kaytlin's Community group from time to time and reading the Bible and interacting with the truths of Christianity.

Nick was praying for his friend Ronkui.  Kaytlin and her girls were praying for Ronkui and God was at work all the way through!  Eventually Nick and Kaytlin found out that they were both friends with Ronkui and they were able to help her explore the gospel together!

Within a few month, Ronkui put her faith in Jesus!   And also, Ronkui and Nick started dating.


Two summer's ago Ronkui's mom came out to visit from China.  She found herself a little bit bored during the day and so Ronkui suggested she go over to the First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church (FICCC) to make some friends and speak some mandarin.  The people at FICCC were incredibly welcoming and Ronkui's mom ended up spending a good amount of time over there.  She began to explore the Bible earnestly.  Here is a part of her reflection:  

Ten years before the summer I spent in Ithaca, I met a couple from Hong Kong.  They gave me a Bible.  Occasionally I would read it, for conversational purposes.  To be honest, I did not understand most of the material, nor did I believe any of it.  For someone like me who received an atheist education since I was very young, the Bible was no different than any other collection of ancient myths.  Many people have tried to share the gospel with me since then, but I could not understand or agree with it.  During my first Sunday Worship at First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church (FICCC), I fell aslee -as I thought I would_ when the pastor was explaining some Bible verses.  At that moment, the lady sitting next to me gently nudged me and spoke to me quietly: "That's okay.  It takes time."  Ashamed, I started listening to the sermon, and surprisingly, i could focus and understand what the pastor was talking about.  I came to Sunday worship every weekend in the following two months, and understood most of the content delivered at the services.  I began to believe that in this massive universe there is an almighty God, and his being is very relevant to my life!  
Nick and his now monther-in-law

In just a few short months, she also put her faith in Jesus Christ!  This past May, she came back to the states to attend Ronkui's graduation and wedding.  While here, she also got baptized!  She has been able to connect with a family of believers in Asia, but she wanted to get baptized at the church -and among the people who helped her to know Christ.  A number of people gathered to hear here incredible testimony and rejoice with her. 

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