Mandarin prayer group has been part of U of T campus for years, but only until early 2005, had the Lord brought together a handful of brothers and sisters, who had a burning passion for the unbelieving souls of the mandarin students on campus. We prayed fellowshipped and sought after the Lord’s heart for eight months and finally started the campus Christian group, UTMCCF in September, 2005.
Carol Yang’s personal testimony, Chair of UTMCCF 2005-2006:
I was only a first-year university student when God called me to start a mandarin fellowship specifically to reach seekers. I was one of the few Christians on campus who spoke fluent mandarin and understood the mandarin culture, because I was born in China and moved to Canada when I was 12. I was in a great position to reach the new immigrants who just moved to U of T campus from China or Taiwan, because I understood the bitterness and loneliness of cultural transition that eventually led to my personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour at the age of 12.
In the first semester of first year, I remember that the chair of CCF, Jonathan Hui encouraged me to possibly start a mandarin ministry with other brothers and sisters. Although I was a leader of my high school fellowship, when I entered university, I doubted God’s provision and faithfulness. I felt that it was more important to focus on school rather than reaching the lost on the Campus. Instead of putting the Kingdom of God as my first priority in life, I focused on my own problems and trials in life and tried to handle them on my own. I was glad that God did not give up on me. He led me to a wilderness, a very dry season of my life to allow me to truly taste and see that HE alone is good. I was struggling academically and relationally in spite of my best personal efforts to save both. I was forced to face the reality of my inadequacies as I tried to control my life instead of surrendering my life into God’s hands.
Only until my life fell apart – at least it felt like it when I was only nineteen – did I turned to God as my last resort during UTCCF 2005 reading week retreat. God did not solve my personal problems, instead He allowed me to see the eternal reality of His kingdom. By drawing closer to God and bathing in His love, I learned to listen to His heartbeat as I walked around the campus. It dawned on me that so many mandarin students are lonely and in need of Jesus’ love on the U of T campus. A group of brothers and sisters refused to hide the gospel from our mandarin friends and we were compelled by God’s mercy and love to serve the mandarin students.
Shortly after the reading week of 2005, a mandarin prayer group became a committee for the following year’s fellowship. We prayed and sought after God’s heart and vision for this campus. We learned to lay down our own insecurities, needs and pride at the foot of the Cross and focused instead on the Kingdom of Heaven.
It was a blessed year as God strategically brought together: Francis, Michelle, Johnny, Grace, Lina, Ellen Rae and I to serve in the MCCF fellowship. By October of 2005, one girl came to Christ during Stream of Praise concert. By December of 2005, another two girls accepted Christ as their personal savior during a winter youth retreat. Although we struggled in unity, in our own faith, in our organization, God still used these broken vessels of His to display His glory. Later on, these sisters became part of the MCCF committee and started to shine for the Lord.
Another huge purpose of MCCF was to bring the gospel back to China as we are reaching many students who intend to return to China once they finish school. In the summer of 2008, two people from MCCF including myself embarked on two different mission trips back to China. On an annual basis, many MCCF members return to their families in China with the gospel and start to attend local churches during their summer break.
God is still doing amazing things with the mandarin ministry; please keep us in your prayer.
~ Carol Yang, Class of 0T8