Jean Chen’s workday starts with putting on a headset and engaging in live dialogue with hurting people.
Chen has a background in biblical counseling and has been on staff with the Back to God Ministries Chinese outreach for nine years. Most recently, she’s taken the lead on a new outreach for Chinese speakers who seek anonymous encouragement and guidance from a trustworthy source.
The new follow-up ministry began as a result of multiple calls for help after an article was posted on the BTGMI Chinese app, "Be Thou my Rhythm".
The article dealt with how Christians can share God’s love with those feeling suicidal and hopeless. The ministry now receives about 30 inquiries a week about topics ranging from marital struggles to depression.
“We first begin with an email conversation and build up trust with the inquirers,” explains Chen. “Later, during phone sessions, we use the Bible to speak truth into their lives. We give them intimate and in-depth caring to face their life struggles.”
Chen notes that the sessions last as long as the callers need. There is no limit on how many calls they engage in.
Chen recalls an inquiry from a woman who had questions after discovering her husband was having an affair.
Chen says she wondered, “Should I ask for a divorce? Should I work on the relationship?”
After multiple sessions, the caller shared with Chen, “I don’t see you or know you, but I can hear the love you have for me in your voice.”
“Sometimes the callers feel a sort of embarrassment or shame,” Chen states. “The phone allows for a form of anonymity and in this caller’s case, she could keep her spiritual mentoring private from her husband, who is not a Christian.”
Currently, the callers are referred to Chen’s contact information via “Be Thou My Rhythm.” In the near future they hope this ministry can be offered as an instant, online chat.
“There is a huge need for this ministry,” emphasizes Chen, “not only for Chinese women, but men, too.”
Thank God for Chen’s gifts and studies being used in this capacity. Pray that this ministry is able to fulfill the growing need for biblical advice to Chinese speakers around the world.