Hi, I am Sylvia. I happened to have a chance to come to UW-Madison at my junior year as an exchange student. Before I arrived, I signed up for the airport pick up service from HCM and that was the start of all my valuable experiences here. I really want to thank Norman who welcomed me as the first person in Madison and introduced me to the church.
I knew nothing about God before I came here. Out of curiosity, I attended several Sunday services and joined the Chinese speaking family group. At first, I found it a little bit difficult to understand the sermon due to plain knowledge of bible stories and planned to quit. However, every member in my family group is really nice, and the group leader, Crystal, who is really friendly and always caring others, has patiently taught us how God loves us, supports us and guides us unconditionally. Little by little, I was moved by how God has sacrificed for us and how everyone in church treats others kindly. Then I started to accept God and believe in him. Following God was not easy, especially for a person who just knew him. There were times when I doubted his existence and simply forgot about him. What changed me was the habit of pray through which I felt more grateful for what I owned and sensed more strength from God.
People usually asked me what I loved and would miss most about Madison, my answer has always been HCM. It is a community where I can grow. I started to show more kindness to people around me, to be tougher when difficulties hit me. I can feel that I am being loved by God and people in the church.
Time goes fast and I am already at the other side of the world now. I will continue my study in my home university in the following year. Life in Madison ends but knowing God never stops. It’s really fortunate that Pastor Paul happens to know someone in my school and I can continue to grow in the church here.
At the end, I want to thank God for giving me such unforgettable experiences in Madison, letting me know so many nice people and make friends with them. I pray that I can firm my belief in God and come back at graduate school. In Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I believe I will revisit HCM in God’s plan.
Hi, my name is Amalia! It wasn’t until sophomore year of my undergrad career in 2014 when I started coming out more and getting involved with Harvest. It was thanks to friends from AAIV (Amber, Nong, Paul W., Steven) who brought a bunch of us noobs when we were freshmen to Harvest and Amanda and Lyda (my roomies and close friends now) who kept each other accountable (for the most part) on being involved with our community and relationships with God. I struggled a lot in college- both spiritually, personally, and academically. It was really hard for me to deal with asking for help and not getting the grades that I was used to getting which turned into more laziness and running away from a lot of things. In my own selfishness I was also mad at God for a time for putting myself in this situation. Fortunately, Harvest played a huge role in me getting back in the race on running to Jesus and learning more about Him. HCM holds a special place in my heart especially because I was confirmed here after re-focusing on my relationship with God. The past five years have revealed a lot of my sinfulness and also the beauty and glory of God. He has blessed me continuously and has provided me with a community and family in Madison that cooks for me, drives me places, buys me meals, deals with my sassiness, listens to me, prays for me, rebukes me, and loves me. People suck and life throws you sucky things, but one thing is for sure: God plans it with love. Everything that happened- good and bad- was all for me to learn. This past year especially was one where I was struggling a lot with my sins and my closest friends here (shout out to you all), even some whom I wasn’t close with, showered me with prayers, tears, laughs, accountability and encouragements. These were people who were serving in other capacities and had other things to do but would still listen and walk with me in strength in running to God. Sisters like Gabi wanted to read the bible together with me for devotionals and accountability. It was talks like these and the ones that lasted until 3am that I hold forever in my heart and memories (so don’t be afraid of talking for as long as you want). Being a part of this body was challenging but also a big blessing. I am forever in awe and grateful of the community at Harvest- seeing the missional works and growth throughout the five years is something that I praise God for. He has and continuously is providing in so many ways- ways that I can’t see most of the time, but that’s ok because dang, I know for sure that He is so awesome.
I’m currently living back at home in Minnesota and will enjoy the summer months of funemployement. Jk, I will be job hunting. I’m not too sure where I will be employed in the future or really what I want to do, but Madison and Minnesota are definitely my top choices on where to live/work.
Please pray for peace and love as I transition back to living with my family. Pray that I would honor my father and mother in my coming decisions and be able to continue to grow in faith with them (+ my sister and brother) as a family. -Please pray that I would find community. While in college, my family transitioned to another church so I haven’t been able to fully be a part of that community yet. Whether at their church or another one, please pray that I would be able to find a local church to be a part of and grow in. -Lastly, please pray that I would continue to trust, love, and seek after the Father. I think I will be in lots of vulnerable times of temptations as I am transitioning and fulfilling my callings. I feel like I’m still in the unknown right now in terms of long-term plans and where I want to work and where I want to live, and I know that God has a plan for me, but pray that in earnesty and in wholeheartedness I would trust in Him and his sovereignty. Thank you!!!
I starting coming to Harvest during my second year of medical school back in 2010. The church community was a big support for me during the last 7 years, and family group was a crucial part of helping Han accept Christ. We are both very thankful for the people at harvest and for Pastor Paul and his family. One of the things we will miss most about Madison is the Harvest family!
Han is starting a glaucoma fellowship in UC Davis, and I will be working at a dermatology clinic in the Sacramento area.
- that Han make the most out of his fellowship year and learn a lot!
- for us to be able to find a good church and Christian friends in Sacramento - we don't really know anyone out there.
- for me (Lydia) to adjust well from residency (working with supervision) to making my own medical decisions without supervision, and to be a good doctor!
My name is Kevin, and I first came to Harvest just over two years ago because an intern friend at Epic that I had met only a week earlier knew Pastor Paul from CFC. That was a few short months after I had accepted Christ, but I knew that I needed a church community for the summer so that I wouldn't lose sight of God. Through that summer and especially the past year, I've learned what it's like to seek God together in a church community. This was a pretty new experience for me, since I hadn't grown up in the church. One thing I've loved about this community is people's willingness to serve one another. I know none of us are without our struggles, but I looked up to many of the servants of the church, and sometimes I couldn't believe how the servants could love our church body so much. The mentors and role models in the church constantly reminded me of God's love for us and motivated me to pour out more kindness and caring to others as well. My family group in particular was a weekly pulse that supported me through work struggles and helped me take a step back from the persistent stresses of the world. Harvest is without a doubt the one thing I will miss most about Madison. Because I didn't grow up in the church, Harvest is my home church, and I'll continue to pray that God's mission is achieved here.
I'm currently planning to leave Madison in the beginning of August, and my goal is to eventually find a software job in New York City to be closer to my girlfriend.
My prayer requests would be that I trust in what God has provided and will provide for me and that I can go to Him with my worries and fears instead of hiding away from Him. Also, I would like prayer that I can be a messenger of the good news in the city and that I can share what I've learned at Harvest about loving and caring for others in my future communities.
Hi my name is Amber. I rst came to Madison in the Fall of 2012. Before moving to Madison for college, my dad did some research on churches here and found HCM online. My family came and checked out a service the rst weekend I came into town. This was when we were still at the old dance studio in the building next door. My rst impression of Harvest was that it was really dark, (there were no windows...) and PPaul preaching about marriage and thinking, “I don’t know if marriage is relevant in my life right now as an 18 year old...” By God’s grace, I came back a few weeks later with some friends I met through Asian American InterVarsity and met other freshmen (shout out to my class) who also decided to commit to Harvest. I spent most of my undergrad years serving both AAIV and HCM. Being a part of the body of Christ has been the biggest blessing of my time here in Madison.
In honor of all the sermons, I’ve heard these past ve years, I wanted to share three words that come to mind when I think about my experience at HCM: Hope, Community, Mission.
- Hope: Coming to college, I had a lot of bitterness towards my family, as well as a legalistic view of Christianity. I realized that I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus and kept trying to earn favor with God through my good works. Through faithful teaching of His Word every week on Sundays at Harvest and many morning prayers in this room, Jesus continued to reveal my own sin and brokenness. I am completely hopeless without Christ. But praise God for the hope of the Gospel and how Jesus is the source for hope in my life wherever I go.
- Community: I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who is a part of this community. Thank you for all the countless meals, prayers, rides, and encouragement. I’ve met spiritual mentors and fellow brothers and sisters to run this race with (shoutout to the downtown FG). When I think of the community at Harvest, I see this picture of many different people from different places inviting others to come feast at God’s great banquet of grace.
- Mission: It has been a privilege seeing HCM grow not just in numbers or community, but in capacity in serving His kingdom on campus, in Madison, and in the nations. I distinctly remember going to Haiti my sophomore year in 2014 and understanding how mission isn’t dependent on location or season of life, but mission is a simple response to God’s love for us no matter where we are or who is around us.
What am I doing next?
- I just finished my Masters program for secondary education this past week and will be ying back home to Seoul, South Korea next Saturday.
- I am committing one year to living at home to spend time with my parents and grandpa and taking time to rest before nding full time work.
- I am not too sure where I will be teaching after my year in Korea. I am hoping to come back to the states to nd a full time job.
- Most immediately, please pray for peace as I transition back home with my parents. Pray that I would serve and love them as Christ desires me to and that God would use our relationship to continue to grow in faith.
- Matthew 6:33 “But seek rst the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
- Lastly, that I would seek rst His Kingdom and his righteousness in making decisions about my future (future work, location), and trusting that He will provide everything I need (spiritual community, nances).
I will always see this community as fellow family members and as workers for the Harvest wherever I go. Thank you to every single person here for loving me with Christ’s love and thank you to our Lord Jesus for his love on the cross!
Firstly, I want to thank Toujon for kindly inviting me up here to speak. Before I share my prayer requests with you, I want to tell you that without this church, my college life could never have been so memorable. As an international student who had never lived in this country, my mind was just as blank as an empty canvas and I would paint on it anything that came to me, good and bad things. If my college life is an art book, the first page would be the Walmart trip I went to with the Harvest people in the first month I landed in Madison. I remembered that it was Xis who drove me to the Walmart and Cameron who took me back, and I tried to offer him a box of Coke to thank him for his ride; however, his reaction was so memorable that I could never forget. For those of you who know Cameron, he is very explicit about his feelings and never hides any sensational emotions from anyone. He saw that I bought something for him, then he opened his mouth and eyes widely, took a very deep breath, excitedly thanked me in an unprecedented way and kindly refused them. I could see smiles coming out of the corner of his eyes with his entire face going red; I believed that he might be just as grateful to me for giving him gift as me for thanking him for the ride. He then encouraged me to come to the church.
There were so many things happened between now and then, and since I am only allowed to speak for 2 minutes, unfortunately I can’t tell each single story. I want to thank all of you who have offered me guidance and hospitality in the past. I have learnt how to write job application, how to drive, how to pray, how to play tennis, how I got my first Bible, how amazing Korean food is, how much rides you have given to me, how many PS4 games we have played together, what I should know about buying and maintaining a car, how much Wikipedia knowledge I have learnt on Wednesdays, how much music knowledge I have learnt, how many birthday cakes I have had, how to throw a football, how to play songs in a band, how many wonderful songs I have heard on Sundays and so on and so on (This list can go on for 10 more pages, maybe more). Sorry if I have missed anyone, but I want to let you know that I remembered all the helps and funs that you have offered to me, as they are forever painted in my memory. I want to thank all the family group servants and co-servants for teaching me the Bible. Again, I truly wish I could spend some time here to give each of you some appreciations if I only have more time. Lastly, I want to thank Pastor Paul for your hard work in running this church. My life would have never been so rich if I haven’t stopped and gone to the Walmart trip.
As many of you know, I will be working in EY in Chicago. Please pray that I will be able to find a community which is as loving and faithful as Harvest. More importantly, I will keep praying in front of Him and be faithful in Him because of his glory. Also, I want to pray for the start of my job, as I realized that it is quite different from being a student to being a working adult. Pray for hard working, proactive learning, maintaining professional relationships with co-workers, and the continuity of my job in EY Chicago. Last but not least, please pray for my parents’ continuing happiness, my friends and all people who have offered me guidance successful careers.
My name is Tiffany Pao Yang and I am a recent graduate from UW-Madison.
I was first introduced to Harvest my freshmen year of college and it soon became my second home. As an undergraduate, I was constantly concerned about my studies, finances, and how to please my parents with my selected major and certificates. Although I was always stressed and worried about my future and pleasing others, I was surrounded by individuals, particularly from Harvest, who related to, cared for, and intently listened to my concerns. They encouraged, embraced, rebuked, and prayed for me - all of which gave me hope and strengthened me both emotionally and spiritually.
That said, I want to give a quick shout out to a few of my sisters, Smile and my roommates (Amanda, Amalia, and Lyda), for putting up and listening to my extremely annoying rants about politics and Touhu. But, in the end, still rebuking and reminding me of God’s love and sovereignty.
All in all, four years in Madison has been short yet full of spontaneous adventures, lively gatherings, and beautiful relationships developed with many of my Harvest brothers and sisters.
Next week Friday, I will be moving to the Twin Cities. There, I will begin my new job/ internship at the Minnesota Department of Health. When September arrive, I will also begin my first semester as a graduate student at the U of M - Twin Cities, studying Maternal and Child Health in the Masters of Public Health program.
1.Travel mercies: I will be driving by myself for the first time to the Twin Cities next week. Please pray for travel mercies and that I would get there safely.
2.Christian community: Please pray that I may find a local church to be part of, challenged, and to serve.
3.Passion: I decided to take on this program because of a burning passion to advocate and work with women and children especially in the Hmong community. Please pray that as I go into this field of work, I will give my selfish desires and Western ignorance to God. Pray that He may humble and cleanse my heart so I can fully serve Him and His communities.