About Us

Su Family Backpackers

As a team of five, Jonathan is the team leader.  Annie is the cheer leader, Olivia is the pioneer, Nathan is the inventor, and Joani is the dynamite.

From 2015 to 2016, we will backpack as a family of five for 12 months through Central Asia, Middle East, and Eastern Europe. We hope to know the people of these regions firsthand, as who they really are, and to appreciate the diversity of the culture, language, food, andFrom 2015 to 2016, we will backpack as a family of five for 12 months through Central Asia, Middle East, and Eastern Europe. We hope to know the people of these regions firsthand, as who they really are, and to appreciate the diversity of the culture, language, food, and sceneries.

We began this journey of team building in 2008. After years of running a typical field family life since serving in China from 2001, we needed something different that worked for the 5 of us.  With Jonathan at 38, Annie at 37, Olivia at 11, Nathan at 9 and Joani at 6 in March of 2008, we dived into the world of Backpacking! Our first adventure was back packing through 8 countries in South America for 3 months on a shoe string budget while home schooling bilingually on the road, living out of back packs hostels, bus stations and the kindness of others.

Since 2008 we continued to backpack yearly through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong, biked around Taiwan, scaled 6000 meter mountains, trekked through river valleys, oceans and seas.

 Jonathan: Team Leader

Jonathan has been serving the poor of China since 2001. Community development has been his passion since getting his Master in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and MBA at Kellogg Business School.  Over the last 14 years, he started a center for Street children, a microloan center for unemployed workers in the city, supervised projects in 3 provinces, and finished a 3 year term of managing a front line office in the remote mountains of Yunnan with the Hani people group.  Now, in this new chapter of his life, he is doing strategic planning, fundraising and marketing.

From the life of designing flash memory chips, being a business consultant to designing village toilets, pig pens, education and health projects, Jonathan’s career/ministry development has been an adventure.  At home, he is a full time dad of three kids, tutoring them in math, sciences and Chinese writing composition skills. He is a family man, plays basketball, loves Amazing Race and Geocaching, backpacked to more than 30 countries, climbed snow mountain peaks, and follows NBA basketball and is a fan of Jeremy Lin.

 Annie: Team Cheer Leader

Annie has been married to Jonathan for 16 years.  She has been in the career of family building, vision casting, spiritual formation, homeschooling, worship dance, intercession, bilingual translation and dream making.  Through her role as wife, mom and mentor, it is putting a ministry/career together for her through her daily living.  Teaching village girls how to cook, clean, know truths in their lives has been an adventure of growing people.

She has become a recreational farmer the last 3 years of living in the village raising ducks, turkeys, chickens, veggies, egg laying hens, maggots and compost worms. Her passion is to become a chef, a professional counselor, blogger and a writer. Like Jonathan, she is a fan of Jeremy Lin!

Olivia Su: Team Pioneer

At 18 years old, Olivia has logged in more traveling hours than the rest of the family going up and down the Hani Mountain for her once a month tutorials in Kunming city. The 13 hour night bus rides are an extension of the backpacking life-style.  She is attending a full time real school for the first time in her life at the age of 15…not just going to school once a week/month, but 5 days a week! It is time she can enjoy living the life of a normal teenager. After being accepted to a university, she will be deferring admission for a year so that she can backpacked with the family for one whole year through Asia and Middle East.

Nathan: Team Inventor

At 15 years old, Nathan is a voracious reader. He loves history and topics relating war, weapons, inventions and why things work. He is attending tutorials in Kunming while continuing home schooling with mom. Finally, he gets to enjoy having real teachers from an English school who can instruct him on how to read and write!

If you give him any gadgets, he can invent something fun out of the parts. His inventive spirit carries to his music life as he have already written several piano pieces.

 Joani: Team Dynamite

At 13 years old, Joani has been the most flexible and resilient in adjusting to changes.  It was hard for her to say good-bye to her village Chinese school friends and teachers.  Then, she started all over and make a life for herself at the Chinese school in the City to complete her 4th year of full-time Chinese education.

Now she is homeschooled and also attending tutorials. Joani is very athletic, musical, likes to work with her hands (including juggling) and eager to learn new things. Once she makes up her mind, nothing can stop her.

2 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Su Family,

    We have not been able to get you off our minds. What a wonderful experience meeting you at the top of Neuschwanstein. You are a true testimony to living out your faith. I knew there was more to our kindred spirit that bound us together so quickly! My husband called it, he said, “They’re Christians”! We so appreciated the “Light” in you and will continue to keep you in our thoughts as you finish up your journey this summer.

    1. Dear Traci and Stephen,

      Thank you for your word of encouragement and prayers! We look forward to how the Lord leads and how He brings people together. May we get to meet again in His Time. We will continue to up-lift and remember your family no matter where you are!

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Traveling and Praying Through the Nations