What do you do if you find yourself wanting to be bold, but you aren’t in a position to be a full-time supported missionary? What if you can’t go back to America and raise support? What if you are an Engish teacher and already have a contract signed for the next semester or year? This is the situation my friend found himself in. He decided to use the position he was already in as a platform for the gospel.
Teaching English at first seemed to hinder my ability to let the world know who God is. After I had experienced this peace and boldness from fearlessly preaching Christ my English teaching style changed drastically. While teaching, no matter what the topic, God would give me ingenious ways of dropping in tidbits of truth regarding, why God created us and loved us, what sin is and why it separates us from him, and why and how the death of Jesus gives us the ability to reconnect with him. Every bit I dropped on them started the skeptics to ask the questions I wanted them to ask giving me a platform to continue in my explanation.
I have now decided to be more intentional about how, when, and how long I will preach the gospel in class. I am using four of the 18 class periods to focus on explaining the Gospel and defending it using the Bible, logic, metaphors, personal testimony, and science. I start with having the students tell me about a holiday they celebrate in China and the next class I use the whole class to explain Christmas, but not in the traditional sense. I go through all the reasons we want to celebrate the birth of Jesus including death, resurrection, forgiveness of sins, salvation and so on. Then a few weeks later I showed the movie Facing the Giants. I discovered that many of them if prompted, will say that the movie was ok, but the parts about God were stupid and just coincidental not a miracle or just downright impossible.
I then proceed to tell them that because the movie has much to do with my faith they are calling me and what I believe in dumb. I tell them that I need to defend myself and the Gospel so they can see it from my perspective. I start with my testimony that is a very similar experience to the kids in the movie (I believed and baptized on a football field). Then I proceed logically through creation, and many different topics using science. After finishing my defense, most of my students second guess everything everyone has taught them. I tell them God loves them and wants to know them. I bring up a question that someone asked me in an English corner. The questions he asked was, ” If God wants us to know him why does he not just show himself to us?” My answer to them is I believe he does show himself to us. Besides pointing back to all the absurdly complex things, God has created I explain to them that the Bible is the word of God, and man by the power of God has translated at least one book of the Bible into over 2000 languages and currently prints over one hundred million Bibles a year. It’s never on the best-selling book list because it is always the best selling and would be pointless. The best selling list is always to see what comes in second best. I argue that God is working and making his word available and sending people out to attempt to give everyone an opportunity to hear and believe the Gospel. I argue that they would not go into a library and point a random book and say they believe or reject what the author wrote before they know what the books content is. I argue they should not make a decision about the Bible before they take the time to read the Bible thoroughly and make an attempt at genuinely understand it’s content.
Our current ministry is to plant lots of seed and water seeds others have planted and harvest what is ready to harvest. Everyone I have helped lead to the Lord someone had already planted the seed. Here in China almost everyone I have led to the Lord had an English teacher or Christian relative tell them about God and opened them up to what I had to share with them. This result is why I feel it is worth the risk. I may not see the fruit, so we are trying to fulfill our part of the responsibility trusting God will do his part. It’s God’s glory, not ours.