With the launch of the new program, Grace Community School welcomed our first international student Cindy Yin.

For I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Spirit-led. These two words have become my automatic response to the question, “Why did you choose Grace Community High School of all places?” In the world’s eyes, it does not compute compared to the grandeur of schools in Hong Kong, Australia, or California. I have visited schools with equestrian programs, ocean views, and campuses that would have impressed King Solomon. Seeing kangaroos hopping by while studying physics or having onsite geological digs does not seem to compare to the illogical choice of the piney woods of East Texas. However, upon each visit, I kept hearing a whisper, “Grace.” I first heard the school’s name in a passing comment from Opportunity America three years ago, as a school that may one day be ready to accept international students. Intrigued, I immediately researched to see why an educational institution would use the word Grace as their name. It was at that moment that God began preparing my heart and motivation for finding Grace.

My expectations have been surpassed in education, family life, and spiritual influence. First of all, there are many differences between American and Chinese education. Math and science are both more concrete subjects in China. They are typically repetitive, requiring long hours of what may seem like strenuous writing to ensure understanding. What was lacking in my previous years of education was creativity and application. For example in history, Mrs. Fedell gave examples to demonstrate how biblical prophecies have literally been fulfilled through history. When seeing the travel of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, my eyes were suddenly opened as to why Chinese ID cards say “Ham.”

The living environment in my new home has been incredible. I am able to live with the Fedell family on ten acres of coastal hay surrounded by trees. When I crave peace and quiet, there is a hammock to lie in while enjoying the painted sunsets and an Australian doodle dog, Baxter, who seems to laugh as he runs and plays with beetles. Whether it is conversing around the dinner table, playing badminton or doing crafts, there is always love and laughter. I also cherish the long late night talks with Mrs. Fedell about life, both past, and present.

The openness of faith in Texas has impressed me. Grace teachers incorporate spiritual wisdom into their daily lessons. Moreover, the church that we attend is very large and has a variety of instrumental and vocal options to inspire members. These combined activities have reminded me that the “Body of Christ” is never just a church building, but the church is a group of believers that trust and love the Lord continuously. I realize that there is no limitation of spreading the good news and being the light and salt to the world.

Finally, there is nothing I could imagine to make this experience better because it was God’s plan all along.