China (MNN) ― A high demand for English education is opening doors for the Gospel in China. With China Partner, Erik Burklin and his team recently spent two weeks teaching English to Chinese youth at the Hua Mei Summer English camp. Relationships formed at this camp opened the door for team members to share the Gospel.
"Young people have asked spiritual questions all the way to the point where several of them have actually accepted Christ as their personal Savior," shares Burklin. He adds that the camps are an excellent way for churches to add younger members to their congregation, a concern for the majority of Chinese pastors.
"A lot of the registered churches have mostly elderly women that attend their church services," Burklin says. "This is a tremendous tool to attract young people and then through that attraction share the good news of Jesus Christ with them."
As China wields an increasing amount of global economic power, fluency in English often ensures success for Chinese businessmen. Many Chinese youth feel that learning English will secure a fruitful future in China's workforce.
"English is the number one wanted or desired education by Chinese young people today," explains Burklin. "Many parents even encourage their children to attend English camps all over China."
English camps provide a double-edged opportunity: not only can Chinese youth learn the English language, they can also hear the Good News of Christ. China Partner seized the opportunity to share the Gospel in this environment by teaming up with Reverend Cai, the leader of a group called Hua Mei International. Through this key partnership, two-week English camps are held each summer.
Serving at these camps, American or Canadian young people have the chance to mentor and build relationships with youth in China. Through these relationships, believers are able to share Christ. And the majority of team members sent to serve at these camps aren't even "qualified" teachers.
"The love of Christ comes through very clearly," Burklin says. "95% are not teachers; they don't have any teaching experience, and yet they do fantastic."
So if the ministry isn't looking for certified teachers, what type of people do they seek to join their teams?
"People who have a love for China, people who love Jesus Christ and want to make Him known in a very creative way," are just some of the descriptions Burklin uses.
Do either of these describe your passions? Contact China Partner to find out about the next trip.