Center for Global Missions Team Experiences China
By Amanda Morad
August 29, 2012
Regent students with Tibetan villagers.
Photo courtesy of Eric Ketcham
Encountering other cultures is important to developing as a global leader. For 11 Regent University students, this summer placed them on the other side of the world to experience the culture of China and also find opportunities to share about their Christian faith in a variety of settings.
The team began their adventures in one of the country's largest cities, Guangzhou, located outside of Hong Kong. There, they visited university campuses to meet college students, learn more about Chinese education and culture, and talk about their Christian faith.
"The best place to meet people was at the [university] cantina, so we'd get food and then find someone to sit with and ask them if they spoke English," assistant team leader and divinity student Eric Ketcham explained. "We'd start up a conversation, generally about American culture or Chinese culture. Then we would transition, if we were able, to sharing the Gospel."
"Many students had never heard of God and the few that did thought He was some sort of joke," recalled communications student Jordan McAllister. "It was a real shock for me to hear people laugh or joke when I mentioned His name. I later realized that if you are brought up in Christ, you really don't know anything different."
After several days of ministry in the big city, the team traveled nearly 900 miles west to Kunming, where they visited the city's government-sanctioned Three Self Church.
"We walked in on a women's fellowship .... They were so excited we were there, they let us sit in and listen to them sing hymns," explained undergraduate student Jana Allen. "After a couple of songs, they asked us to sing for them. We sang 'How Great is Our God.' It was our 'team song.'
"Then we all got in a huge circle and held hands. Our team sang in English; they sang in their language, and we all sang 'How Great Thou Art' together," Allen recalled. "It was one of the most touching moments I've ever experienced. Here we all are, completely different races, living on different sides of the world, speaking different languages, having cultures that are as opposite as night and day, but we share one commonality, and that is our love and passion for God. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room."
Another 375 miles northwest of Kunming lies one of the last tourist destinations on the eastern border of politically volatile Tibet. In this small Tibetan village, the students were able to meet a number of Christian businessmen and women, and also experienced traditional Tibetan culture—and food—firsthand.
"I believe teaching goes beyond a classroom experience; it's about preparing our students to be globally aware and culturally competent," said Dr. Clifton Clarke, director of the Center for Global Missions and the trip's leader. "This trip to China was about building global leaders to change the world."
The Center for Global Missions plans to organize another trip to China for next summer.
"China is the place for the next great global move of God," said Clarke. "The younger generation of Chinese people has all but rejected Communism and the older Chinese beliefs. Spiritually, they are in a vacuum. When we met them, spoke to them and befriended them, they spoke of how much it meant to them that we came across the world to share the Good News with them," he said. "The smiles, the tears and the appreciation on the faces of the people we shared with is something I will never forget."
Learn more about the Center for Global Missions.
Mindy Hughes, Public Relations
Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888