Edwin Chow has the goal to see generations of people come to know Jesus Christ, and his most recent endeavor, Evang-A-Bear, is promising to bring that goal to fruition.
After realizing that many ministers and parents were becoming discouraged in sharing the gospel, Chow searched for a way to renew their energy and share the gospel in a way that allowed parents to take some responsibility for the spiritual development of their child. The creation of Evang-A-Bear, a stuffed bear that shares the gospel story, followed shortly.
“Evang-A-Bear started as an idea that encompasses my talents, gifts and passion for empowering others to share the gospel,” Chow said. “It has served its purpose well for me.”
Chow’s creation is a plush teddy bear whose fur is black, red, white, green and yellow. Each color represents an aspect of the gospel story, making it a tangible connection for children to use to understand God’s love. In addition, Chow collaborated with a fellow Huntington University student, Abigail Kaufman, to put together a children’s book that tells the story of Evang-A-Bear. Chow wrote the story, while Kaufman produced the illustrations.
The book is called “The Beautiful Journey” and it recounts the story of a bear whose life is changed by the story of Jesus. When the young bear accepts Jesus in his heart, the bear’s fur is transformed from a basic gray to the beautiful colors of the gospel story.
Kaufman’s goal for “The Beautiful Journey” is that it reaches individual homes to minister to families.
“I’m passionate about this project because it allows kids to make an emotional and spiritual connection,” Kaufman said. “So often there is a disconnect between parent and child, and I’m hoping ‘The Beautiful Journey’ and Evang-A-Bear can bridge that.”
Chow said professor Troy Irick and the HU business department was pivotal to get Evang-A-Bear off the ground by providing practical means to start the project, and Dr. Karen Jones and Dr. Rebecca Coffman both helped in the development as well.
Evang-A-Bear will be sold through an ecomerce site such as Etsy, in hopes that the product will hit the market by Christmas.
Currently, all of the proceeds for Evang-A-Bear and “The Beautiful Journey” will go towards, what Chow calls, Share-A-Bear, which is a fundraiser for short-term mission trips. People donate money that will both fund the trip and provide the missionaries with books and bears to minister with. Further, the future vision is to manufacture the bears in an area where human trafficking is rampant in order to provide jobs to victims as an opportunity to get out of the sex industry.
“The Beautiful Journey” is being translated into five languages — Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian and Korean, in hopes to reach as many families as possible.
“Since I started working on this project, Evang-A-Bear has empowered me to share the gospel over 100 times to people of various ages,” Chow said. “From children who think my face is funny to professionals who work 9-5, the gospel is moving people to new life.”
Most important to Chow is his father’s introduction to the gospel through Evang-A-Bear after he asked his mother for a simplified Chinese translation. He has prayed constantly for his father’s salvation, and Evang-A-Bear is opening the door for Chow to connect with his father.
“I have prayed for my father’s salvation fervently,” Chow said. “So to me, if the all the efforts were to fail today, I think I’ll be okay because my father got to hear the greatest story ever told.”
Kaufman thinks Chow will be successful in his endeavors.
“Edwin has a heart of passion and incredible drive,” Kaufman said. “He knows how to get things done, and that is so important on the mission field.”