New Brighton, Minn. (April 22, 2010) – The Hospitality Center for Chinese treated students and supporter alike to an evening of cultural and Christian entertainment and vision, with its annual ”Friendraiser” event April 22 at North Heights Lutheran Church in New Brighton.
The evening highlighted HCC’s ministry, as it has provided Chinese students studying at the University of Minnesota with “a home away from home” for the past 18 years.
The event quickly drew hundreds of guests into the excitement, featuring world-class juggler and gymnast Xu Zhang, Soprano soloist Wei Zheng, and the Hua Sheng music group. Students joined in singing “Amazing Grace” and the popular Chinese song “Long Wen.”
The event also hosted a silent auction, featuring a limited edition print of “Holy Spirit Coming” by Dr. He Qi.
“Chinese student participation made this event possible,” said Peter Hao, director of HCC Programs. “I am proud of the professional work and passion our team was able to share.”
Throughout the evening, Chinese students spoke of HCC’s influence in their lives, as it has provided them with a family away from home.
HCC was founded in 1992 by two Minnesota missionaries who returned from in China, and recognized an opportunity to reach out to the Chinese community.
“Nearly two decades later, HCC’s vision remains the same: to share Christ’s love through hospitality to Chinese students, scholars, and their families,” Hao added.
The funding from this and other events is used to support the growing HCC mission with a wide array of educational, social, and practical programs, including four levels of ESL education classes, new-student assistance, transportation, grocery shopping, karaoke, mentorship and others.
Events like Thursday night’s Friendraiser have significantly furthered HCC’s internal and external impact, enabling the ministry to continue meeting needs, as it has done for the past 18 years. “It was a beautiful demonstration of God’s love for China,” said Jennifer Gerth, Executive Director, of Thursday’s turn out.
Amazingly, upwards of 70 percent of long-term international visitors to the United States never enter an American home. Many of these visitors are students studying at academic institutions around the nation. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the University of Minnesota welcomed nearly a thousand Chinese students and scholars—the highest number of Chinese students at any university in North America.
We live in a time when language and culture exchange are necessary for further global development, according to many experts. HCC recognizes this need and has developed its regimen of programs and services to meet it. Subsequently, the effects continue to ripple across the globe.
With such generous support the HCC staff and community continue to bridge the cultural chasms that lie between the United States and China.
For more information about HCC, visit www.hcchinese.org.