Christian Education: “Everywhere You Go, You Find Chinese”

Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part interview series in which we spoke with a Chinese educator involved in establishing a Christian school outside of China. Although his school does not focus solely on Chinese students, the school is filled with many overseas Chinese, who still hope their children can be educated with a strong Chinese foundation. In this interview, he spoke about how he first started to explore the field of Christian education, and how he hopes it can be used as an evangelical tool.


Sharing the Gospel among Chinese Immigrants

China Partnership: Could you introduce yourself and tell us about your background? How did you become interested in Christian education?

Joshua: I became a Christian and was baptized more than 20 years ago. A few years after that, my wife and I began to participate in some parenting and marriage trainings at our church. We saw that Christian faith was connected to real life, and my whole life was renewed. It is not just religious knowledge, but is related to every individual’s relationship with the living God. He is the Lord of our lives, and leads us to live a submissive life in every area of our lives.

After that time, we spent almost 20 years doing parenting and marriage training in China, for both believers and unbelievers. With unbelievers, we didn’t directly talk about Scripture passages, but we used biblical principles. We also did trainings for the church, directly using the Bible in these.

China leads the world in the number of immigrants to other countries. Everywhere you go, you can find Chinese immigrants. We began to think that we need to find these immigrants and share the gospel with them.

Later, about 8 years ago, we began to think about how China needs to participate in missions and evangelism. Chinese Christians need to go out and evangelize and be on mission. I was already a lay pastor at a church at that point and was doing pastoral work there. Outside the church, my job was the parenting and marriage training. Our church became convicted that Chinese Christians need to go out, evangelize, and become missionaries. We were thinking: “How can we do this?”

Normally, we train evangelists and then they go out on mission. Later, we realized it was very difficult for these evangelists to make a living and survive. They faced many challenges, including language barriers, and it was hard on their children. Later, I realized China leads the world in the number of immigrants to other countries. Everywhere you go, you can find Chinese immigrants. We began to think that we need to find these immigrants and share the gospel with them. They have already settled and put roots down, they have made a life in the places where they live. So we need to share the gospel with them, lead them to the Lord, and plant churches. Then, they will be able to continue to bless the places where they already live.

Education as Mission

Overseas, we were finding Chinese immigrants and evangelizing them. These overseas Chinese still have relatives in China, and so when they are converted, they also evangelize their relatives at home. Based on this, we had a thought: because Chinese immigrant families highly value Chinese education for their children, we should start with education. These families want their children to learn Chinese.

We began to look for an opportunity, and found one in Southeast Asia. In this country, the investment and costs are low, and it is more affordable. It is also very easy for people to travel here from China. Christianity is not restricted, and Christian education is open.

Because Chinese immigrant families highly value Chinese education for their children, we should start with education. These families want their children to learn Chinese.

We found an international school that wanted to transfer ownership. We thought it was a good opportunity, so we took over the school. We told the parents of existing students that we would turn the school into a Christian school. We planned to upgrade the quality, but wanted to keep tuition the same. We would have a lot of foreign teachers, but would also add Chinese courses. Because this strategy was good, the families all stayed at the school. Although most were Buddhist, they didn’t mind if it was a Christian school. Later, we added a high school, because previously the school had only included kindergarten and elementary school.

In the last several years, even though it was during the Covid pandemic, we have grown to more than three times our original size. This is a little bit of our background and how God led us to do this.


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Preparing the Next Generation

China Partnership: What is the special burden of these sorts of international schools schools run by Chinese Christians?

Joshua: Right now, we have a burden to have Chinese Christians do their part and use their power to participate in global missions. We are in Southeast Asia, and we are happy to see we are evangelizing children here. They are starting to learn the Bible and worship. Because of our involvement, these children have the opportunity to be exposed to Christianity, and their families also come into contact with Christianity. That is our burden, the outward-facing aspect of cross-cultural missions.

We train the next generation here to be fluent in Chinese and English and to understand Chinese culture. We train them to fear God, be honest, and have servant leadership.

We also train the next generation here to be fluent in Chinese and English and to understand Chinese culture. We train them to fear God, be honest, and have servant leadership. They will also have professional skills in their specific majors and areas of study. China will need such talent in the future.


Joshua Liu is a pseudonym for a Chinese Christian educator involved in teaching and training the next generation.

Pray for Chinese teachers working to share the gospel through education.

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Further Reading

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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

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ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

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About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

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About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

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About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

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About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

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About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

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About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

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About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

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About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

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About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

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About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

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