2 | Adrian & Jeanie Zhang: Church as Family

In Northern Virginia, it is easy to find people who have relocated here. Whether for work, opportunity, or other reasons, it can be difficult for these “transplants” to be away from home and family. Such was the case for Adrian and Jeanie Zhang. The story of God’s work in their lives is a story of family, both in their relationship with each other, and their relationship with God’s people here at Harvest Fairfax. 

    Adrian and Jeanie both lived in Durham, North Carolina, before Jeanie moved to Northern Virginia. At the time, Jeanie was living and working here in Fairfax, and Adrian was still in Durham, close to family and friends. 

    “I actually remember being a little scared for Adrian,” Jeanie said. “He had such good guy friends in Durham. I was nervous that it would be really hard for him to leave all his best friends there.”

When I came to Harvest, I immediately felt like I could be myself.

Jeanie herself was dealing with the separation from her own family. Her parents are missionaries in Hong Kong, and after growing up in China, the transition to life in America hasn’t always been easy.   

    “I haven’t always related super well with American culture,” Jeanie said. “But when I came to Harvest, I immediately felt like I could be myself.”

    Jeanie’s initial connection with Harvest was only the first indication that this is where God had led them. Soon after, people started to notice Adrian on Sunday mornings more often.  

    “This is the next best thing to family,” Adrian said. “Even though you’re not related by blood, it’s as close as you can be. There wasn’t even necessarily much effort on my part. People just reached out to me.”

    As Jeanie and Adrian’s dating relationship grew more serious, with marriage becoming a real possibility, Adrian planned to move here as well. But Jeanie was apprehensive. 

    “I felt almost guilty, like I was taking Adrian away from his community and group of friends,” Jeanie said. “But when a gap opens, God fills it.”

But when a gap opens, God fills it.

Adrian found a job in DC, and planned to make the move. But as the date neared, he was unable to find a place to live. 

    “Days before I was supposed to move here and start work, I didn’t have a place to live!” Adrian said. “But God gave me such a sense of peace. Sure enough, multiple people from Harvest offered for me to live in their homes until I found a place of my own.”

    It wasn’t long before Jeanie and Adrian were engaged, but once again they were faced with a new difficulty. 

    “Right before we got married was one of the biggest ways I saw that God working through the Harvest family to become our own family,” Jeanie said. “We were trying to avoid living together before marriage, and we had so many offers to put us up!”

    God’s work through His people here at Harvest is evident in Jeanie and Adrian’s lives. He uses His church to connect people to family. Jeanie sums it up best when she says, “It was the Harvest community being attentive to the Holy Spirit.” 

    Now, two months married, Adrian and Jeanie are eager to see how God will use their family to minister to others.