Eating meals with students around their dining room table, discussing Scripture over steaming cups of coffee, picking up trash in the Azusa Canyon—Louise Huang, PhD, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and adjunct faculty in the Department of Biology & Chemistry, and Kevin Huang, PhD, organic chemistry professor, make a difference as a couple by living out their faith at Azusa Pacific University.

As immigrants, both their stories include a journey across the Pacific Ocean. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, Louise’s parents sent her to attend high school in the United States. The kindness of her high school teachers helped her adjust, and she soon developed a love for chemistry.

“The support of my teachers instilled in me the importance of hospitably welcoming those who are unlike me,” said Louise. “A warm smile, an encouraging word, a simple meal offered on Christ’s behalf can go a long way.”

Kevin’s family immigrated from Taiwan to Southern California when he was only seven-years-old, in search of opportunity. As he grew older and worked in his family’s restaurant, Kevin developed a love for science. When he started his undergraduate career as a pre-med student, Kevin quickly decided chemistry was not his strength since he struggled in class. So, when he sat down in an organic chemistry course rumored to be the hardest at the university, Kevin expected the worst— only to be met by a professor who would change his life trajectory.

“The professor saw potential in each of us. She wanted us to be the best we could be,” said Kevin. “In her class, I decided to pursue a professorship in organic chemistry and teach like her—she became my role model.”

Kevin and Louise met while studying chemistry in graduate school, fell in love, and got married. By the time they received their doctorates, God was calling both Louise and Kevin into the field of education.

As their first daughter slept soundly in her bed, Kevin and Louise spread out manila envelopes on their living room floor, each containing a resume and application to different organic chemistry positions in the United States—including Azusa Pacific University. Together, they laid hands on the envelopes and prayed for God’s will to be done. When responses came back, God made Azusa the clear choice—so off they moved to the San Gabriel Valley.

Kevin and Louise knew they were meant to do more than simply teach chemistry, and began asking God how to build in their students an unshakeable faith that lasts beyond the college years.

At the start of his first semester, Kevin began covering his students in prayer and asking God for young men to disciple. Louise became involved in Heart to Heart, APU’s Women’s Spiritual Mentoring program at the time, which launched her into over a decade of mentoring young women. In 2009, the year of Segerstrom Science Center’s grand opening, Louise joined Kevin as an adjunct professor at APU.

In addition to mentoring, they open up their home to their classes every Thursday night, providing home-cooked dinners to small groups of students. At “Café Huang,” as they nicknamed it, the couple serves simple yet delicious dinners—from Thai Massaman curry to Kalua pig—and the get togethers always include laughter, rest, and rejuvenation for students.

Louise and Kevin also take their discipleship into the surrounding city and across oceans, leading service opportunities and mission trips with APU’s Center for Student Action and their home church, Epicentre in Pasadena. Whether assisting with surgeries in Calcutta, ministering to refugees at a landfill in Mae Sot, or serving at an orphanage with Mexico Outreach, the Huangs, as well as their two children, serve alongside APU students, spurring on those around them towards Jesus.

Louise and Kevin believe in holistic education: removing the walls separating faith and science and encouraging collaboration of the disciplines. They draw attention and praise to God’s fingerprints seen in scientific phenomenon, cultivating a sense of awe in their students. Faith integration exercises—journaling, discussing, and researching—illuminate students’ education by integrating faith and science in a complete picture. In a modern world of gene edited babies and artificial intelligence, these conversations are becoming increasingly crucial.

“I encourage my students, as Christian scientists, to organize and formulate their ideas about theories and questions,” said Kevin. “Especially now, with technology advancing so fast, scientific perspectives need to be seen through the lens of Christian ethics.

Many steaming dinners, theological discussions, and plane rides later, Kevin and Louise have impacted countless lives, growing in their own faith and gaining life-long friendships along the way. They look to the future with excitement, following God’s calling with each new class of students.

This article is part of a series that features the inspiring faith stories of APU's students, faculty, and staff. If you are a member of the APU community and would like to share your faith story, contact Rachel White at [email protected].