Manman’s first experience with a local American family was a positive one, thanks to IFI volunteers Peter and Karen.

“When I entered Peter’s house, his wife, Karen, welcomed me at the door, and prepared such delicious food!” Manman recalls. One of the food items was especially intriguing: “Karen made s’mores for us, which I had never seen before!”

What left an even stronger impression was the godly behavior of Manman’s host family. “They set a really good example for me to be what kind of person I should be in my life, especially of how to love others. They are always showing kindness and selfless help to their surrounding friends and try their best to give, to do what they could do without thinking about any return,” remembers Manman.

“Being in Peter and Karen’s home made my life more meaningful, more colorful, and taught me kindness.”

Manman took a number of trips with Peter and Karen’s family to the countryside and on hiking trails across Ohio and joined them for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Manman was particularly moved when the family prepared a traditional Chinese New Year meal for her during a difficult bout of homesickness.

“Peter and Karen taught me that friendship can overcome national boundaries, age differences, race—I will always treasure my time with them!”

Read about how the volunteers, Peter and Karen, felt in serving Manman