Joe felt called to China ever since his freshman summer missions trip. It took twelve years to complete his education and gain the needed professional and ministry experience before he arrived on the field. In eight years, he has been promoted to VP in the company. Denise teaches elementary school, and directs the Character Program. They have a five-year old son and a two-year old adopted daughter. Joe and Denise co-lead a group of professionals like themselves—working couples with young kids.
“Before coming to China,” Joe reflected, “one of our biggest concerns was homesickness. I am an only child. And given my mom’s health condition, we didn't know how our parents would feel about us living halfway around the world. And would we lose touch with all our friends? Would they move on with their lives and forget about us?” These thoughts seemed daunting at the time.
But Joe was pleasantly surprised: “My family see our parents two times a year as we go back to the US for summer break, and they come to Asia once a year. Many of my friends in the US only see their parents once a year at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and some only every other year!”
Joe’s business trips also translate into extra visits with his parents. They have yet to accept Christ, but God has kept Joe’s mother in stable condition all these years.
In the US, friends would throw house parties for Joe and Denise to share. In return, Joe would host them when they vacation in China, and introduce them to the local believers in their group. More than keeping in touch, Joe is helping them grow a heart for China.