God hasn’t promised us an easy task; in fact, serving Him may involve considerable difficulty. And this difficulty is multiplied when you find yourself in a setting outside of your own culture and language. Emanate exists to help prepare people for serving in that setting. Let’s check in with Emanate alumni Derek and Chantal Chen and hear about what they’re up to these days.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Derek grew up in Taiwan, and Chantal grew up in Hong Kong, but we’ve also lived in the U.S. and Canada for many years. 

Q: When did you graduate from Emanate?

A: We graduated in December 2015. 

Q: Where are you now?

A: We’ve been serving as church planters in Papua New Guinea since 2017, but we’ve been on medical leave for the past 9 months in Taiwan. 

Q: What are you up to these days?

A: We’ve had quite a whirlwind year. Shortly after building our bush house and moving into the Tanguat tribe in PNG in December 2018, Chantal was diagnosed with stage 2 lymphoma and had chemotherapy from April to August 2019. She is currently recovering, but we have been cleared to go back in PNG by the end of this year to continue language and culture study! 

Q: What did you learn at Emanate that helped prepare you for your ministry?

A: Everything we’ve learned at Emanate has prepared us for what we do now! From chronological Bible teaching, linguistics, church planting strategies, to practical things like scratch cooking, technology and homeschooling—we appreciate each and every class we’ve taken and all the staff members who have spoken into our lives in different ways. 

Q: What else do would you like us to know? 

A: We were privileged to meet our teammates, the Swensons, at Emanate. We graduated from the same class. Also, our youngest son, Owen, was born right in the middle of the 4 weeks of jungle camp! We still call him the jungle camp baby. 

Q: How can we be praying for you?

A: Pray for our transition back to PNG and to our tribal location. Pray also that Chantal’s body stays healthy as we continue to follow up on the lymphoma in the coming year.

Please be praying for Derek and Chantal as they return to their ministry. Cancer treatment is a hard thing, and the task of learning the Tanguat language and culture won’t be easy either. Pray for perseverance (which develops character and hope).

We are always glad to see where God is using those that graduated from Emanate and to hear their stories. Do you want to hear more stories of how God is working around the world? Subscribe here!