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Rock Hero: Jenn Chen - November 2010
By Dave Franco

Born to success-oriented parents in Shanghai, China, Jenn Chen was driven to excel from the time she was a toddler.  Her life was a never-ending push for education and accomplishment.

After her parents divorced, the push for success seemed to heighten.  Working hard was normal for Jenn, and she never questioned her future.

After coming to the United States, Jenn earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering.  Yet, with two degrees and a six-figure income, it still wasn’t enough to satisfy the pressures and expectations from home, so Jenn enrolled at UCLA to pursue an MBA. 

Commuting to UCLA and working full time resulted in 19-hour days which drove her to the point of exhaustion.  One night Jenn nearly drove off the road during the long commute from school.  It proved to be a fateful event.

The near-accident prompted her friend Dolores to call and talk with Jenn each night she drove home from Los Angeles—just to keep her awake.  Dolores, a Rock Church regular, would engage Jenn in conversations about Jesus and asked her to visit the Rock.

Jenn did attend the Rock and found it very interesting, but recalls feeling sorry for the people who responded to the alter call as they seemed to be incapable of thinking critically. Still she kept coming.

One Sunday Jenn, not feeling particularly moved by the message, was leaving the Rock when she suddenly found herself in tears and didn’t know why.

That same week, a contractor who was working on her house handed her a tract that asked, “Are you going to heaven?”  When she engaged him in a conversation about God, she pressed him for answers. He replied, “Jenn…I could give you all the numbers and facts to prove Christianity….but only one thing matters: God loves you!”

Breaking into tears, she called out to God and made a decision to follow Christ.

After surrendering her life, Jenn felt God asking her to make two radical decisions: to sell her home and to leave her high-paying corporate consulting job.  Neither made sense...but Jenn took a step of faith.

After listing her home, it sold in less than 24 hours. Then her supervisor at work was surprisingly supportive of her plan to give up her job. For Jenn, both incidents were confirmation that God was up to something.

Soon Jenn felt her heart beginning to change.  She was finally free of the pressure to perform and began to understand her identity as a child of God and the unconditional love shown to her through Jesus.

Just eight months later, Jenn helped organize the first of four community service events for the Rock, mobilizing thousands of volunteers throughout San Diego and contributing thousands of volunteer hours.

Through her amazing organizational gifts, Jenn is creating manuals and systems for graduates of IMPACT 195 to better establish pervasive hope in every country of the world. She even mentors students who have committed a season of their lives to full time discipleship.

She was also a part of the Impact 195 leadership team that brought 54 volunteers to Haiti last June. Their work provides clean water to thousands of people in the Haitian community of Jeremie.

According to those she works with, Jenn is an inspiration as she handles any and all situations with a rare combination of great skill, dedication and excitement to serve.

For Jenn, her life has been changed by God’s unconditional love.  He has redeemed and invited her into amazing ministry opportunities. Her obedience to God’s call has brought joy and excitement like nothing she has experienced before.

Congratulations Jenn Chen. Rock Hero for November 2010.