The burning smell, messy bathroom, banned Christmas and bounty for Christians

An Inspirational Letter From Our Founder And CEO, Ed Wu

Recently, our founder and CEO of Premier Education sent this personal letter out to our host families. It’s reassuring to know that he is not asking us to do anything that is not worth it and that he has daily struggles of his own as he hosts students in his home as well.

Dear Host Family,

Last night around 9:00, I was on a zoom video call with Leanne, our assistant, and Sandy, the mother of our newest student, Michael Li from Beijing.

I was suddenly interrupted with a frantic sounding, “ShuShu, ShuShu”, (meaning Uncle, Uncle), as E came into my office. He saw I was in a meeting and that I couldn’t talk to him, so he just uttered something that I didn’t quite hear.

After a couple of minutes, I smelled a burning smell. Almost immediately I knew what happened. Our meeting finished shortly after that, and I reluctantly entered into my kitchen to discover the source of the smell.

The Microwave was open, and smoke was everywhere.

I wish I had taken a picture that I could share with you, but I’ll try to paint a picture in your head of what I saw with my eyes.

The three pieces of garlic bread were all burnt to a dark coal and the bowl he used was also covered in black ashes.

In an attempt to not set the smoke alarm off and wake all our neighbors, we opened all the doors and windows, turned the fan to the highest speed, and waved our arms around to try to scoot the smoke outside.

E and H, both freshman, have lived with us since the beginning of the school year. They are funny, kind and light-hearted. They look alike, and people always ask me, “Are they your sons? Are they twins?”  

In the past five months, they did bring a lot of laughter into our house. At the same time, they have struggled mightily with their studies and they’ve failed a couple of classes. They struggle getting up on time. Their room and bathroom are messy and they eat a lot. I mean, a lot! 

I asked myself, “How could Elvin allow this to happen?” Meanwhile, he was laughing and didn’t seem to be apologetic at all! 

I was almost going to blow up…

Finally, I gathered myself and asked Elvin calmly, “What happened?”

E: “Ah, I tried to cook some garlic bread”

Me: “How many minutes?”

E: “Three”

Me: “Did you read the instruction?”

E: “No”

I asked him to find the package and I read the instructions with him. There were instructions for cooking the garlic bread in an oven, but not a microwave. Apparently, this type of garlic bread is not meant to be cooked in the microwave, and definitely not for three minutes at a high temperature. 

Had he read and followed the instructions, this would not have happened.

Had he asked me how to cook it, this would not have happened.

But it happened.

And I know a situation similar to this has happened in your home. 

And I understand rightly so, you were upset, disappointed and angry when you saw the smoke, the witnessed the messy bedroom and bathroom and sometimes even were victims of their lying or badmouthing. I get it!

You have every right to question yourself or your spouse,  “Why are we doing this?”

You can choose to stop all this madness and restore the order of your home to a clean and organized Christian home.

And, I will respect your decision and trust that you will be a blessing to people, regardless if you are hosting our students or not.

But I also thought about something else. 

Just today I read two articles. Read them if you want to be reminded about why we do this.

The first article is about  “Chinese City Bans Christmas Displays Amid Religious Crackdown” from the New York Times. 

One of our host families sent me another article about Police in China Given Quotas for Arrests of Christians from Christian Daily Reporter. 

I think this is what we are really up against. The middle kingdom is increasingly taking away freedoms from its people, particularly children who may learn about Jesus and his gospel. We, however, have the opportunity in the United States to show our students what it means to follow Jesus. 

You Are An instruction manual.

This is how I view what we are doing by hosting students in our homes.  We are providing these Chinese children an opportunity to read the instruction manual of life in our homes. We are taking the time to read it and live it together with them. We are praying that in time, they will understand the manual and apply it to their own lives.  And, in the end, they will feel the need to get to know the author of this great manual. 

And, at that moment, everything we have endured will be worthwhile. 

As we enter this Christmas season, let our Savior remind us that He was born into a smelly manger. He didn’t choose his disciples because they were clean, organized, polite and always being respectful. And finally, we are doing this together not for the praise of any man, but for His glory only.

Peace to you as you celebrate the reason for the season and the reason why you host.



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