Hi everyone! My name is Bruce Kong, I first came to Harvest in 2013 with a few friends, just to check out what it was all about. The first few people that I met was Mong, Meekay, and Alan (P.S: I thought Alan Kan was the Pastor until he corrected me….) from there they invited us to go check out Porchlight, jam sessions, Family Group, and finally church service. I have never experienced worshiping alongside with groups of people that were closer to my age. Not only that, but when I first stepped into the building, it was evident that this church emphasiz ed a lot on community. It was something I knew that was there, but I never got a full grasp of what the real meaning of it meant. At that time, I was an attending a community college and going for my Associates in Culinary Arts, so I came to Harvest as an undergrad and I was able to plug in with the Undergrad Ministry. Family Group was the highlight to my first official year at Harvest.
Before coming to Christ, I was confused and lost on what to be. There were times I felt depressed because I constantly doubted myself and questioned if I made the right choice to come to Madison. However, I found my strength and believed in God. I was lead to the Harvest Church of Madison through other sisters. During this precious time at HCM, I always liked Pastor Paul’s speech on Sundays. I got to question myself and look back to my life. And I always loved the winter retreat because it motivated me and I had deep talks that I never would forgot. I am grateful for the friends I made in church and all the lessons I learned from them through God. Despite my leaving to a new environment, I know the God would walk with me like always. I am heading to Houston for the graduate school. Pray that I can hold my strength in God and continue find my ways to serve the God . Pray I can find another church that would be like HCM where I get to make friends and listen to His Word.
My experience with HCM began when I was picked up by Norman Lin, a member of the church at my arrival in Madison. That was when I was informed of HCM and their Christian mission. I was then encouraged to attend the Sunday services and their Friday Night Live services. My experience of being introduced to God at the church through worshiping and praising His Grace and Jesus’s sacrifice as well as my gradual acquaintance with God’s mercy and righteousness made me feel humbled and more inclined to know more about Christianity. Thanks to Lily Zhao, I was brought to her family group led by Crystal Cui. Then I began learning the Word of God through reading the Bible with our group members. This April, I was baptized by Pastor Paul and officially became a Christian.
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.
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.
Brief testimony: 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. Prayer requests: - 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.
Hi my name is Amber. I first 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.
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.
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.