China (MNN) — It’s a popular expectation for students in China to learn English.
For China Partner, this has opened immense opportunities for witnessing the Gospel to Chinese young people. Erik Burklin is currently on the ground in China’s Sichuan province with a mission team from China Partner to help conduct an English camp.
The camp is a ministry of Hua Mei International. The team will return on August 10.
Burklin shares a story from the camp:
Today, one of the lesson plans in the curriculum was The Good Samaritan. I proceeded to [ask] the young people in my class, “Has anybody ever heard of the Bible before?”
So that was translated into Chinese so they would know what I was talking about, and I would say 75% of the young people in my class raised their hand.
Then I proceeded to ask, “How many of you actually own a Bible?” and about five students raised their hands, which surprised me because this was not a “Christian English camp.” This was an English camp for anybody who wanted to sign up to improve their English. And so what was very cool is that before I even started the story, there was already some precedent there…. They were somewhat familiar with the Bible.
So I proceeded with the story of The Good Samaritan, and I compared it [by saying] the Samaritan is actually a people group that was very much hated by the Jews…. I compared it to a minority group in China and the Han Chinese, which are the majority people group that live here in China, and that made sense to the young people.
Then at the end of this Bible story, I just said it’s important for us to realize that no matter what race we’re from, that anybody who is a human being is my neighbor and that’s the person that we need to watch out for. If somebody is hurting, if somebody is not doing well or is underprivileged, then we as individuals need to reach out and can make a difference.
Well, it just really resonated with the young people, and after the class I had one-on-one discussions with several young people.
One student said, “My grandmother became a believer years ago when there was a missionary in her town from Switzerland, and she later became a Christian.” In fact, this student said the word “Christian” in English to me, which blew me away.
I said, “Well, do you go to church?” and she said, “Yeah, I go to church every Sunday with my grandmother…. Most people that go to church here in China are old and I feel a little bit bored when I go.”
This is precisely what China Partner is involved in more and more. We feel there is a tremendous need to train church leaders in the area of youth ministry. How can the next generation be reached for Jesus Christ in an effective and fun way that young people can resonate with the Bible, can resonate with Christian stories, and just have fellowship with other Christians or non-Christians and feel comfortable to go to church?… So this was the feedback I got from one of the students after I did this particular lesson plan with them.
Pray for the team conducting English camps. Pray for conversations to open doors for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and for changed hearts.
You don’t need to be a professional English teacher to go on another trip like this with China Partner. Click here to ask about upcoming mission trips to help with English camps.