We have really enjoyed hosting Megan as an intern for the past 10-weeks. She has been a blessing to our family and ministry while she was here and I asked her to write a testimonial about her time here. Hopefully, it will give you some insight to what an internship in China is like and encouragement for more of you to come intern with us!
Direction for the mission:
New culture, new foods, new friends, new language, new opportunities, new customs (endless etc.) are what you will experience if you come spend your summer in China…but that is not truly the best part about coming and working here. Getting the opportunity to share the Gospel message with someone who has potentially never even heard it before—now that’s rewarding! I would like to share with you some of the things that I have learned and experienced during my 10 week internship here in China and hopefully encourage you to consider if the Lord might be leading you to come serve here too!
Being a Missions-Internship major at the Bible college I attend, I was required to do an internship as part of the completion of my degree. As I was searching for different opportunities and looking at my options, China continued to be in the back of my mind. For many years I have thought I might end up serving in China, because God had burdened my heart many years ago for this country. Little did I know that He was preparing my heart for this summer! As I was making my decision for the summer, I could not get China out of my mind, so I was pretty sure that it was where God wanted me to pursue going. I began doing what I needed to do to get there, and the missionaries helped guide me through the process. God blessed me tremendously through many generous supporters (which was just another confirmation that God was opening the door for me to go!). Before I knew it, I was on my way!
Opportunities during the internship:
I have had so many opportunities here. I have been able to have Bible studies with ladies that I have met at English corners, some of which I have seen grow in their understanding of God’s Word! I have had the privilege of helping with the kids’ club and teaching an English Sunday school class at the church. Also, I have had the opportunity to host a couple of ladies’ activities. During my time here, I have also done some English tutoring for children, which the church provides for free as an outreach. There are so many people here, so there is always more need for servants to come help with the ministry! Because of the incredible amount of people in the city, it is hard to even put into words the amount of need. As I have experienced ministering here, God has continued to give me peace that this is where He wanted me this summer. Not only that, but as of right now, I am strongly thinking that China is where I will plan to serve long-term (unless God redirects me). My heart has been so full here.
Relationship with the missionaries:
I have learned a lot from the missionaries! Because I hope to be on the field full-time someday, it was incredibly practical to see firsthand a family that is already in ministry. I have spent so much time in their home and have been able to serve alongside them. It has given me a real picture of what it is like to serve with a missionary team. The countless hours I have spent with the missionary wife are something I will treasure for…well, probably ever! We have had many good conversations and I have been able to ask her a lot of questions. From the times we have gone out to discuss plans for the week, to the times I have helped her cook dinner, and everything in between – I have really been blessed by the time spent with her.
I have been able to experience firsthand what ministry is like in another country. No place is exactly the same; but now that I have served in a culture that is different from my own, I feel more prepared for future ministry. Another benefit I have experienced is learning about the missionaries’ ministry philosophy and their perspective on how missions should be done. They have accomplished much and have a desire to be good stewards of the time that God has given them!
Another thing I was able to experience during this internship is language school. I actually attended classes and had a tutor to help me learn the Chinese language. I cannot overemphasize how practical this part of the internship was. The first several years on the field are focused on language school, so learning Chinese helped me to see another part of missionary life – and a very difficult part it is! I have learned a lot from my classes and I hope to continue studying on my own when I am back in the States.
I have also grown a lot spiritually during this internship. Because the missionaries hold me accountable by checking in on my personal devotions, and because they have other weekly requirements for spiritual growth, I can say that I have grown in that way over the summer. In ministry, it is very easy to face burnout; but because of the focus on making sure to be fed spiritually, I have been edified so that I can serve more effectively. I have also just grown in general, as there have been many things that have stretched me and taken me out of my comfort zone. There were many times when I was reminded of my desperate need for God. Time and time again over the summer I was reminded of my pride and my need to let go of it so that I can be used by God!
These are just only a few of the many things I have learned and experienced during my time here. Would I encourage you to go serve alongside Mark and Natasha China? If you are looking for the opportunity to learn from missionaries on the field, while they are on the field, and engage in ministry yourself, all while experiencing a new culture and language, then yes – I would highly encourage you to pray about and consider coming to this city with so much opportunity and need for evangelism and discipleship! “…The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37).