Partners in mission
In this series, Ana Gobledale meets the URC’s partners in international mission. This month, Chen Yu-Fen
‘They treat me as though they have thrown me away from society. Branded “immigrant”, I feel the loss of identity and constant fear.’ The Revd Chen Yu-Fen, living with her son for ten years in Paris, in the shadow of Sacre Coeur, worked whatever job she could find – cleaner, secretary, shop clerk. However, as Isaiah says, a bruised reed God will not break; a smouldering wick God will not snuff out.
‘My strength is in my failures,’ explains Yu-Fen. ‘I quit, I fail, I return.’ With an unbroken spirit, her heart swells with a desire to minister to immigrants. She organises a Christian group for Mandarin-speakers and international students who face social segregation, racism and suicidal thoughts.
Yu-Fen’s life is a tapestry of hardships and achievements. When I ask for her favourite Bible passage, she quickly replies, ‘The genealogy of Jesus.’ ‘All those verses?’ I say, thinking the list of names is dull. She explains, ‘There one finds women with whom I can identify – outcasts used by God.’..
Ana Gobledale is Convenor for the URC International Exchange Reference Group. The Council for World Mission is a worldwide partnership of 32 denominations including the URC
This is an extract from an article published in the April 2023 edition of Reform