Our family has been blessed to be involved in the expanding work in China. Because the country is so far away and the culture is so different, its hard for many to imagine going there to share their faith in a place where the gospel is largely unknown. While missionaries cannot go to China to openly preach and teach, Christians can still enter the country and spread the good news through living out their faith and through their work. With its growing economy and its desire to become a nation of more influence in the world, China is committed to equipping its present and future leaders with the ability to speak English. In the past 15 years, the doors to China have been opened for the message of Christ largely by Christians going to China as English teachers.
Our teachers in China commit, normally, to a full school year which usually lasts 10 or 11 months. The teachers have the option of renewing their contract at the end of each year and several of our teachers have committed to multiple years in the field there. Some come home either during Chinas Spring Festival (January through part of February) or during the summer months between school years, if they plan to return.
A typical English teacher in China will teach 12-16 hours of classes with topics ranging from Oral English or Writing to American or British Culture, Literature, or History. While helpful, teaching experience and the ability to speak Mandarin Chinese is not required the only requirements are that the teachers hold at least a Bachelors degree and are native English speakers. Their students normally speak English well enough for them to build on in their classes and in their religious discussion. By reaching some of Chinas best and brightest through teachers in their universities, we trust that God will use our efforts to impact the future of this progressing nation.
Because of the Communist system in place in China, missionaries there do have to be careful about how they conduct themselves and how they interact with the people. Many use American holidays with Christian roots to share some aspects of their faith with their students. Other doors are opened by the curiosity of the Chinese about American culture and Christianity in general and through friendships that naturally develop between fellow teachers and their students. Teachers usually use these opportunities to invite those interested to their apartment to talk more about their questions and many times these conversations become the basis for an ongoing study group. These missionaries also meet with small groups of fellow Christians in their apartments for worship, fellowship, and study.
One thing that clear is that God has been at work in China for a long time and the number of believers there has been growing in ways that only He can bring about. Our workers in China are seeking to help nurture and equip the family in China, as well as encouraging and studying with those who are seeking to know God. Of course, God has also used the Chinese people and culture and the Christians there to teach and mold the workers that we send. Their desire is to be a part of what God is doing there and to help the family there grow and shine their light in the dark places of that great country.
For security reasons, we do not publish the names of our workers or cities in China.