Fruitful Lives Far and Near

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By Andy Pearce

We have taken trips to China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea for the purpose of encouraging international students and scholars who have returned after receiving their degrees here. We find ourselves also encouraged by the “returnees” as they express gratitude to us and as we see that many are involved in serving others. The photo shows a visit with family who moved to Singapore from Pasadena after the husband earned a PhD from Caltech. He is now a professor at a leading university and they are living fruitful lives.    

It is also common for former international students to end up staying in the U.S. to fill important jobs, especially in science and engineering. They can also live fruitful lives here. There is a wonderful couple from China who were a part of the dinner/Bible study in our home before graduating and starting jobs in the Pasadena area. They live only eight miles from our house. The husband is working as a scientist after earning a PhD at Caltech. The wife is working as a nurse. Sandy and I were feeling a bit guilty because we have traveled so far to see many “returnees,” yet we hadn’t seen this couple in two years, and we had never seen their 16-month-old son.           

We emailed them and arranged to visit their townhouse on a recent Sunday evening. It was wonderful to warmly greet each other and to meet their son and the wife’s mom who is living with them and helping with the care of her grandson. The conversation was filled with love and joy, and we had a strong sense of peace. It was also encouraging to see them in their roles as father and mother showing gentleness and kindness to their son. The wife had introduced her mother to Jesus and shared how her mother’s disposition had been positively transformed.

It is a goal of International Students, Inc. to see lives transformed by encountering Jesus, then bearing fruit through their witness to others, so we were overjoyed to hear that the couple is now hosting a fellowship meeting at their home so they can help other young couples from China encounter Jesus. Sandy and I drove away praising God for the opportunity we had to be encouraged by this fruitful couple. We were also thankful that we faced only a 15 minute drive instead of a 15 hour plane flight back home!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)