Immigrant Faith Stories: Season 1, Episode 3
Born and raised in Hong Kong during the time when it was a Crown Colony of Great Britain, Winnie Sato and her family emigrated to the US in the summer of 1980.
In this episode, Winnie reminisces about her life as a new student in America, how she found friends, and how her relationship with God became richer. Her family found fellowship and friendship in an immigrant Chinese church that offered them a place to belong and thrive. She felt called to be a missionary to China while in college. But it was not until about fifteen years later than her dream materialized.
While Winnie shared her story with me, I noticed how God orchestrated the events in her life, as a little girl in Hong Kong to a wife and mother in America, training and preparing her to be His missionary to China.
Winnie has been married to Brian for 28 years. Along with their daughter, the couple served as ministry leaders to Beijing, China, for over a decade where they worked exclusively with house churches in the areas of discipleship and Christian education. Winnie tells us what she loves most about Chinese Christians and how their joy and passion inspires her.
My biggest takeaway from this conversation is that none of our experiences or abilities are useless or unimportant in God’s eyes. He is constantly working in us, shaping and molding us to be His change agents in this world.
Her story is also a powerful example of the role churches can play in helping immigrants find community, support, and opportunities to grow and serve in God’s kingdom.