Ander & Myra Chen
My aim in life was to be happy, to pursue whatever made me feel and look good. However in high school this pursuit of happiness began to feel thin and empty. I began to question the meaning behind why I did all that I did.
It was in college at UC Berkeley where I found the answer through a community of believers who practiced what they preached. Christians living out their gospel convictions and doing life day by day just like it describes in Acts 2. Though I had grown up going to church, this was so refreshing to me.
After doing some personal investigation and coming to understand I was a sinner in need of God’s grace and mercy, I made my decision to follow Jesus my sophomore year in college. Things have never been the same since.
I began serving in college ministry after graduating, and a few years later met my wife and ministry partner Myra. We have three children Joanna, Jasmine and James.
After spending a few amazing years in Chapel Hill, NC helping to plant a church and learning to love fried chicken and cheerwine floats, we moved back to Berkeley to raise more gospel ministers who can reach the harvest field.
I’m still amazed at how God found a selfish and aimless sinner and through Christ gave me new life, new identity and new meaning. My prayer is that all believers everywhere will continue to bring the gospel to all nations and for many more to experience what I have.
I distinctly remember getting on the plane from California to Jakarta, Indonesia when I was 6 years old and thinking that my life was going to change. Though I went to church in Indonesia, I encountered many different cultures and religions like Islam and Buddhism.
Coming to UC Berkeley, I had no intention to continue to go to church but somehow ended up going to an outreach event put on by our church where the pastor challenged all the college students to use at least one semester to seek whether Christianity was true or not. As students, we would spend years studying something like chemistry and barely scratch the surface. If God was real, wouldn’t it be worth investing in seeking God for at least a semester and if he wasn’t, then it wasn’t a big loss.
Long story short, I fell in love with the person of Jesus and in the process saw a lot of my sins and ways that I was trying to direct my own life that led to a lot of shame and pain and just falling short. Going to Bible studies and hearing about Jesus captured my heart and I ultimately gave my life to Jesus my sophomore year in college. Since then, my life has completely changed.
After graduation, I decided to stick around and find a job in the area and serve as a mentor at our church. I wanted to make the same impact on young women like myself who want something more in this life than the world has to offer them.