A Day in the Life ... of Nancy Yan

Today, we are excited to introduce A Day in the Life, a new segment where members of our church community share snapshot testimonies of their life.  One of our foundational goals for GraceNotes has always been to connect our readers, both within and outside of Maranatha, to Maranatha’s culture in a Gospel-centered and personal way.  We want people to see what we’re like, to know who we are, and to hear stories of how God works in His church and through His people.  Romans 12:15 calls us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep, and the best way to know who to rejoice or weep with is by sharing in each other’s lives.

A Day in the Life intends to give you a deeper look into Maranatha’s culture by allowing people to share testimonies not just of salvation, but of reflections on their joys, struggles, lessons, and perspectives in their everyday lives. As God has grown our church, He has given us a great diversity in ethnicity, career, age, and background, and in this segment, we want to not only highlight this diversity but, more importantly, highlight how God uses each one of us broken sinners in different ways for our good and His glory!

For our first A Day in the Life, we are so blessed to have our sister, Nancy Yan share a bit about what God has recently been doing in her life.

Oh... the day I decided to become a social worker...little did I know what that meant.

There are countless days of encounters faced with hostility and thankless remarks. But today is not one of them. Today, I was faced with doing something that felt beneath me. An hour and a half was spent cleaning at my client's home. No, not the cleaning that you or I do at home to keep a neat and tidy apartment. This apartment was filled with piles of rubbish, dirty napkins, old newspapers, weeks-old unwashed dishes now swarming with flies and the sink full of dirt. I couldn't decide what was worse, the distinct odors of rotten food and mold or the sight of such things? I prayed before entering my client's home asking God for an extra measure of grace and even humility. And humbleness was what I received. Yes, I have a Berkeley education and a Columbia graduate degree. No where in my job title does it say that my responsibility is housekeeper or maid. What did I give up today? Pride and self-righteousness.

How can I say that anything is beneath me? Is anything beneath Jesus? Absolutely not! Jesus washed the feet of his disciples (John 13:1-17). He cared for the outcasts of society. He was a friend to prostitutes, tax collectors, and sinners like you and me. I am not exempt from being a sinner because I “do good deeds” or “have a kind heart.” I do not have a higher status over another individual simply because I am educated or put in a position of power.

Today my client asked for a hand to help clean her apartment. And two hands were extended. I have a feeling that this visit will be one that I will always remember. It's more than an act of humanity, it's an act of love, compassion, and mercy, only possible because of God's redeeming love towards a broken people like us. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). God commands us to love one another, for love is from God (1 John 4:7). If it were up to my own will, I would have chosen to walk away with a blind eye and avoid any discomfort. Is this what it means to show mercy? It’s not an easy task to die to self and live for Christ (Philippians 1:21) but there is so much joy and freedom in doing so!  


I was able to get a glimpse of God's Holy and perfect character when he descended to earth to live as a man. I was able to experience God's mercy upon sinners like myself. Today, I truly understand what it means to be a social worker. I am not simply working for the social good of man, but God is calling me to work for the good of His kingdom.

As people of God, striving to live out Gospel truths and obey His word, I encourage you to prayerfully consider sacrificing comfort for the sake of souls. We have a wonderful opportunity and great privilege to reach out to the homeless during Maranatha’s Mercy on the Streets outreach. Please join us on Sunday, 9/6 at 2pm!

-Nancy Yan

Nancy Yan is a California native who moved to New York City in 2010 to pursue her graduate degree in Social Work. Currently, she works at Visiting Nurse Service of New York as a Psychiatric Social Worker. Her job consists of home visiting and working with adults who have a chronic mental illness. Nancy became a Christian shortly after she graduated from college and was baptized a year later in 2009. She has been a member of Maranatha Grace since 2011, serves on our board of deacons, and co-directs our Mercy Ministry.