Read letters from Don and Wei Hong Snow
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Don and Wei Hong Snow
Don and Wei Hong ended mission service with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2011.
Since July of 2003 Don and Wei Hong have been serving in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, in eastern China. Don teaches graduate students in the English Department of Nanjing University, one of China’s top universities and an institution which the Presbyterian Church had a hand in founding more than a century ago. Wei Hong serves as a volunteer at the library of Jinling Theological Seminary, assisting in computer cataloging the holdings. Don and Wei Hong also serve the PC(USA) as regional liaison staff for China.
Don’s first term of service with the PC(USA) began in 1991 when he was appointed as a mission diaconal worker to teach English and linguistics at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou. There Don and Wei Hong met and eventually married at Dongshan Church in Guangzhou. Don’s original appointment in Guangzhou was under an arrangement with the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. Zhongshan University traces its pre-1949 ancestry in part to Lingnan University, an institution originally begun by Presbyterians.
Wei Hong and Don were jointly appointed in 1993 to serve in the Hong Kong office of the Amity Foundation, where Don was education consultant to the Amity Teachers Project. The Amity Foundation is a Chinese nongovernmental organization, established by leaders of the China Christian Council to help meet the needs of the disadvantaged in Chinese society and to make people in China more aware of the concern of Christians in China and abroad for the people of China. Most of Amity’s staff are Chinese and are based at the headquarters in Nanjing. Staff members at the smaller Amity office in Hong Kong are appointed by churches in different nations to assist Amity by performing liaison and publicity work.
Don provided orientation, support and resource materials for language teachers from more than a dozen countries who teach English, Japanese and German at small teacher-training colleges in China through the Teachers Project. The work of these Amity teachers strengthens programs that train Chinese language teachers, who will teach in rural middle schools. In China, all students are required to study English, and to advance from junior high school to senior high school and then to university, they must pass tests in which English plays a vitally important role. If teachers in rural schools are not well trained, their students will be at a greater disadvantage on these highly competitive examinations, and more of these students will be denied the opportunity for further education. From a perspective of Christian witness, it is important to have foreign Christians serving in China at the invitation of Chinese Christians because in this way their service reflects the concern of Chinese Christians as well as those from other countries. In China, a nation where many people still assume Christianity is a distinctly Western faith, cooperation between Chinese Christians and those of other nations is an important witness to the universality of the church.
Wei Hong completed a Master of Divinity degree at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Hong Kong and then served as an evangelist (assistant pastor) at a Lutheran church there. In 2000 she returned to Lutheran Theological Seminary to work in the library while studying for a Master of Ministry in library science, which she completed in 2003.
A graduate of the College of Wooster in Ohio, Don earned a B.A. in history, an M.A. in English as a second language from Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan, and a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages from Indiana University in Bloomington. Before beginning his work with the PC(USA), Don served for many years as an English instructor in Taiwan, Hong Kong and several cities on the Chinese mainland.
Wei Hong was born in Guangzhou but spent most of her teenage years in Hunan province. After returning to Guangzhou in 1979, she worked as an elementary and middle school teacher of English and typing. Studying part-time, she also earned a degree in Chinese from Central TV University and another in English from the Guangzhou Institute of Education.
Don - November 2
Wei Hong - August 22
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Next May, I will be taking a group of 20 or so from my church on a three week tour of China. We will be in Beijing on Sunday, May 22. Is there a church you would recommend we worship with? Also we will be visiting Xi'an on Sunday the 29th, Guilin, Yangshuo, Suzhow, Hangzhou, and Shanghai on Sunday June 5th. If there are other churches or ministries to see in any of those cities, please let us know.