Spring of 2011, first year out of college, Jane was sent by her company to China on a 3-month rotation. Within a few weeks, she had led her language tutor and her masseuse to Christ. They brought their friends and cousins to cook dinner and study the Bible together at Jane’s apartment every Thursday night. Some of the women were young professionals like Jane. In time, many more of them came to faith.
Jane was reminded of her childhood promise to serve God in China someday. That day had come. She secured an international posting with her company, which allowed her to stay in China for four more years. She grew professionally, saw the local women mature in faith, and organized women’s conferences for her city. She also met Mel, and got married in the spring of 2015.
Now Mel had joined several GLS programs during his college years. He went to Central Asia, summer 2003. He studied Chinese in Beijing, and interned under the supervision of a GLS associate, who worked there. Upon college graduation, Mel was promised a job with a California company that would start in the fall. So he joined the GLS summer study abroad program to learn about China’s economy and international relations.
Half way through the summer, his new job vanished as the 2008 financial meltdown began. Being Chinese American and bilingual, with some China work experience under his belt, Mel found a job in a coastal city. Over the next 3-4 years, he did well in a boutique consulting firm. Later, he joined a Fortune 500 company, and continued to mature professionally.
Although Mel was working and serving in China, he was unsure about his calling. His being in China seemed circumstantial. After a 40-day fast from meat to seek the Lord, he had peace about staying on in China. A year later, he met Jane. As their courtship began, the importance of being equally yoked in their calling became a major issue they had to work through with the support of friends and mentors.
God spoke to Mel through a missionary’s Sunday message, and again at a conference. His eyes were opened to recognize God’s hand in his entire China journey. It was providential, not circumstantial. He should not question God’s calling because of self-doubt or the fear of failure. Grateful, and free in his spirit to see the truth, Mel took the simple but significant step of embracing the life God has given him in business and service overseas as his calling.
God’s Plan Unfolds
Getting an MBA was Mel and Jane’s next step in preparation for long-term tentmaking missions. They labored over which schools to apply to. When they got engaged, they asked all their friends to pray that they would end up in the same city.
Four months before the wedding, while home for Christmas, they both received acceptance letters from the same business school. The best Christmas gift indeed!
At orientation, they discovered that a number of their fellow students were from China. In no time, they started a small group Bible study in their apartment, doing what they loved to do when they were in Asia.
Business school is a highly competitive environment. Job search in the second year was a harrowing experience for most students, especially when they knew they could be competing with fellow classmates for the same jobs. Mel and Jane’s faith was tested again. Would they end up with jobs in the same city? Could those jobs take them back to China?
They applied for jobs with multinational companies that targeted China as their growth market. Mel and Jane’s China resumes might give them an edge. But again, nothing was certain.
Their future was, as always, in God’s hands. He knows what it takes to get them where he wants them to be.
While waiting for the results, they reached out to encourage and pray for fellow classmates. These were amazing opportunities for personal ministry and witness.
The Perfect Match
Come December 2016, it was déjà vu. Shortly before Christmas, the phone calls came. Mel and Jane both received offers from the same company.
They will work at its U.S. headquarters for 1-2 years. Then they will be sent to the company’s China head office, located in the city where Mel and Jan met—their old stomping ground. The perfect match indeed for God’s children committed to using their business careers for His Kingdom!
Mel and Jane are grateful for the networking, mentorship, and support from the GLS community along the way. Looking into the future, they know there will be uncertainties, things beyond their control. But as they dedicate their marriage and careers to God’s service, He will direct their steps, and make what seems impossible possible.