VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 3/1/16)—Emerson and Ivy Wu, originally from Columbus, Ohio, have recently expanded their role in Asia. They now serve Chinese churches in the areas of Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China as directors of the Global Chinese Training Ministry. Working with American Baptist International Ministries (IM) personnel and overseas partners, they seek to identify strategic locations for discipleship and pastoral training.
Upon their commissioning in August 2013, the Wus were assigned to Macau and partnered with the Macau Bible Institute on a campus relocation and the initiation of a new curriculum program. Emerson served as director of Administration for the Institute, completing the momentous job of finding a new campus and renovating the Institute’s spaces. As a lecturer and chaplain, Ivy taught classes and started a spiritual formation group with two other teachers to enhance deeper spiritual care for the students. They also taught Sunday school and preached and taught in the area, engaging in fellowship with youth.
“We praise the Lord for His leading and provision in expanding our service,” said Emerson and Ivy.
The Wus began their transition to Hong Kong, their new home base, in January by undertaking their first field trip to Yunnan Province. There, they visited the Wa and Lahu ethnic minority Christian.
“Yunnan Province has 25 of the 56 recognized ethnic groups in China,” the Wus explain. “Most Wa and Lahu people live in a rural and mountainous area that lacks convenient transportation. Most of them are farmers but would like their children to have the same quality educational opportunities that those in developed cities enjoy. We are excited because we have clearly seen that they are God-chosen people, and we may partner with the churches there to strengthen Bible teaching and to develop resources.”
During their visits, Emerson and Ivy identified with the Apostle Paul’s Macedonian Call: “Come over … and help us.” (Acts 16:9) They visited a variety of project sites, including an AIDS Prevention Center and the Gospel Drug Rehabilitation Center, while also interacting with the Christian leaders who run the ministries.
Ivy and Emerson Wu have been married for 34 years. “Ivy has the gift of evangelism and pastoral care and Emerson has gifts of administration and management,” the couple explains. “God has given us those complementary gifts so we can work together as a team to further God’s kingdom.” They look forward to their collective work in developing a focused new plan for discipleship and pastoral training.
In their early days of getting to know the Wa and Lahu people, the Wus were profoundly impressed by the people’s love of music and dance. “These are special gifts that God clearly has given them,” they say. “They live in a rural area without much in the way of better or modern musical instruments, but they are able to use music and dance so well in a spirited way to worship God.”
For the weeks and months ahead, the Wus look forward to learning about the culture of the people they have come to serve and toward developing a greater understanding about the real needs. “We will also be adjusting to so much mountainous travel, which is a real challenge to us,” they say.
The Wus are inspired to build on the legacy of the Rev. William Young, who first planted the seeds of faith with the Wa people 100 years ago. Over the many years since, more than 800,000 Christians have come to the faith in the Yunnan Province region, the Wus say. “IM has a close partnership with the Yunnan Christian Council and Three Self Patriotic Movement. We are blessed to deepen this relationship and expand our service to more ethnic minority churches.”
Prior to their commissioning, the Wus served for many years as deacons and Sunday school teachers at Karl Road Baptist Church in Columbus. They also ministered in the neighboring Chinese community in Columbus while engaging as volunteers in campus ministry at Ohio State University.
As they settle into their new role, the Wus ask for prayers. They say:
“Please pray for God’s grace and salvation so that it pours down to everyone in the Wa and Lahu communities.
“Please pray that the Lord’s love reaches to everyone in Yunnan.
“Please pray that God gives us wisdom and loving hearts to serve our brothers and sisters in Yunnan.
“Please pray that God protects us and keeps us healthy in our new mountainous and rural environment.”
To learn more about Emerson and Ivy Wu or to support their work, visit their profile page on the IM website. Words of encouragement for Emerson and Ivy may be sent to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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American Baptist International Ministries celebrated 200 years of ministry in 2014. American Baptist International Ministries (IM) was organized in 1814 as the first Baptist international mission agency in America. It began its pioneer mission work in Burma, (now called Myanmar) and today serves God through more than 1,800 short- and long-term global servants in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Its central mission is to help people come to faith in Jesus, grow in their relationships with God and change their worlds through the power of the Spirit. It works with respected partners in over 70 countries in ministries that meet human need.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.