Emily Minter Returns to China
Emily Minter returned to China, after traveling with Bluefield College in the summer of 2010. During the following December she had the opportunity to teach English in China, as well as share her faith.
February 1, 2011
Emily Minter has a passion for China and its people. After a visit to the country in June 2010 she returned this winter to share the gospel.
Emily is a junior at Bluefield College. Her first visit to China was a three-week educational trip with other BC college students last spring. She took classes in culture, history, and art during her visit to the northern region of China.
Her second visit to China had a different purpose: to share the gospel and teach students about Christ. From Dec. 17, 2010 until Jan. 3, Emily and four other teammates from different parts of the U.S. traveled to the southern region of China. The trip was possible through an organization that allows people to go on mission trips to different parts of the world. For security purposes Emily was not able to reveal the organization she traveled with, or the exact location in China where they ministered. She found out about the trip through her mother.
“My mom gets a newsletter from this organization and she knew how much I wanted to go back to China,” she said.
Emily’s desire to return to China stemmed from the great experience she had during her first visit.
“When we went [to China] the first time Dr. Shippey said you are either going to hate it and want nothing to do with it or you will love it and you will want to return again and again,” she said. “For me, I fell in love with it, and it’s not so much the scenery, the places or the touristy type things; it’s the people. I have friends there. There are relationships that we have made with each other.”
During her second visit to China Emily spent time in the classroom teaching young high school students about God. She and her team spilt up to teach in the English classes at the school. The group she taught was high school students who were 13 to 14 years old. Since the students had been taught English from third grade, she was able to communicate with them in English.
Because her visit was during Christmas, Emily taught the students the American traditions of Christmas.
“I would say these are just traditions, but the important part of Christmas is the story of Christ,” she said.
She also taught about things she enjoyed, like theater. She shared the story of the Three Little Pigs while comparing it to the Bible story of the man who built his house on sand and the man who built his house on a rock. She encouraged the students that God is the rock and firm foundation to build a life on. One of the best ways she was able to communicate and explain Christianity to the students was by using visuals as she told the story.
Emily also spent time with the students outside the classroom.
“Formally in the classroom we would teach and try to explain our faith to them,” she said. “But then we would hold English corners and that was a little more informal. We were still on the campus and we could be more open at English corner than we could in the classroom.”
She explained this was because the head of the English department was not a fan of Christianity, and felt Christianity did not have a place in school. This was not the first trip to teach Christianity at the school, but the team members had to be more subtle in their formal teaching in the classroom. However, Emily was able to see a change in him as she was visiting.
“It was really exciting to see how God was opening his heart because at first he was closed off and wouldn’t address the foreigners or make it a point to interact with them at all,” she said. “This is the first year that he has opened up his classroom for foreigners to teach. I see God at work in that because if there wasn’t something going on in [his heart] he would be still closed off to us coming and teaching in his classroom. I was the student who taught his classes. He would let me use his computer to access Internet, he gave me a Christmas gift and he took me shopping so he really opened up. In these moments when he wanted to spend time with me I was able to share my faith with him.”
Emily also was able to spend time with the students by going into town for shopping or other activities. She was able to continue to share her faith with them outside of the school.
“One of the girls that I met asked for an English name,” Emily said. “I gave her the name Ruth which means companion or friend. I told her the story where Ruth says ‘where you go I will go, your people will be my people and your God will be my God’. So I explained to her who God was and took her from creation to Christ.”
Emily also said there were dangers in sharing the gospel with the students in China. Though she was not, she could have been arrested for sharing her faith in the town.
“You had to be cautious, but I decided that people had invested in me,” she said. “It was a costly endeavor and people supported me. I decided I was going to go big or I was going to go home. When I had the chance to, I shared. It is not illegal to be a Christian, but it is illegal to evangelize.”
During Emily’s trip one girl decided to follow Christ. On the day the team left she was baptized.
Emily shared the differences between her first and second visits to China.
“The first visit was for me. In the first visit God taught me I can use chopsticks; I can function where English is not the major language. I was shown that, even though I was thrown into a different everything, I could still manage. The second trip was for them. My purpose was to share my faith with them. I learned in the second trip there is so much I don’t know.”
As she spoke about China it was clear she has a passion for the people and she has a strong desire to return and continue to spread the gospel. When she returned home she was asked by her pastor to sum up her visit.
“God is at work in China, Satan is vastly losing his grip and there are new believers daily. Just to be able to be a part of [God’s] work in China was a privilege.”