Caring for China


Courtney Carpenter, Co-Editor

After leaving for six weeks with no Internet or cell connection, senior Carynn Hildebrand and sophomore Taylor Hinman embarked on their journey to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with students and civilians in China. Our publication had the opportunity to speak with both girls before they left for their mission trip.

The journey lasted six weeks in total, with a one-week training camp for preparation beforehand. Hinman said they traveled through Bejing and Hong Kong, with over five total destinations during their weeks abroad.

“The [organization] doesn’t tell us [where we’re going specifically], since what we’re doing is illegal,” Hinman said. “We’re not supposed to know. Reign ministries doesn’t want the government to be able to track us and our trip. That’s why we’ll be moving around so much.”

In parts of China, Christianity is outlawed. Because of this, Hinman said they will have to be careful with how they approach their evangelism.

“In China, you can’t just stand up and preach,” Hinman said. “The way we get around that is we share our testimonies, then answer questions asked by the locals. They have to be the first one to initiate the conversation.”

Hinman said the trip is centered around love — specifically, serving the local people.

“The trip is very relationship-based,” Hinman said. “You go into houses and have tea with the Chinese people, continually build relationships and make meals together. It’s a lot of ministering to people, bringing them to Christ through your actions and through your service. You’re working with the people, side-by-side, so yes, we’re speaking into them with our words, but a lot of it is our actions.”

With around 20 other people traveling in their group, no family members, no communication back home and an illegal agenda, Hildebrand said the trip, although frightening, is well planned.

“It’s comforting because Reign has it together — they know what they’re doing, they have trips all around the world,” she said. “They know the risks coming in, who we’ll be in contact with, and they’re not going in empty handed. That said, it’s still terrifying. Obviously we’ve never been to China yet, so we don’t know how far we can and can’t go. Here, [in America], I can sit in a coffee shop and talk about Jesus, and it’s no problem. But there, we have to be careful about learning boundaries and not stepping over any lines.”

Both Hinman and Hildebrand agreed this trip is well worth any risk.

“I’ve been on mission trips before, but China is so different,” Hildebrand said. “These people, without missionaries going here, would literally never hear about Jesus, and I feel extremely blessed to be able to share that with them — to give them that love and hope they might not have otherwise.”