BEIJING -- Chinese education is changing as more American Christian schools open new locations ... in China.
Despite government restrictions on religion, American and Chinese Christians are working together to provide Chinese students with education based on biblical truths.
Sean Elgut is the headmaster of Veritas Christian Academy of Virginia. In 2014, a U.S. education association selected it as one of the best Christians schools in the United States. Elgut and his wife felt God gave them a new mission to complete.
"I felt the Lord is talking to me as I prayed. He is asking me to go to this nation to reach out to the younger generations. Just go and tell them about Jesus and His love," Maria Elgut said.
Sean says although many Chinese are atheist, or Buddhist, most parents are open to Christianity. Some even encourage their kids to learn all they can about Christ.
"Chinese parents start to realize Christian education is beyond text books. The parents want their kids to live with faith. They are begging us to teach them about Jesus." Sean said.
Students are taught Christians values in the classroom. Their teachers spend quality time with them in hopes of leading them to Christ.
"Time is important. We want to spend more time with them, just like Jesus with His disciples. He had time for them and taught them," Sean said.
Young children aren't the only ones getting excited about Christian education here. Chinese Millennials are also open and enthusiastic. Some realize the Bible is not just a book; it is a way of living with pure joy and happiness.
Besides reaching academic success, Crystal Lu and Wang Zhao Yuan also accepted Christ. Biblical values from the classroom touched their hearts.
"Before attending the school, I knew little about Jesus. While I was attending classes, I learned so much about God and His love for His children," Lu said. "My Christian parents are extremely happy that the Lord finally provided a way for me to know Him, too. My whole family are Christians today."
"I also enjoy having one-on-one conversation with the teacher. When they prayed with me, I felt so much better. My heart didn't feel so heavy anymore," Wang said.
As more Chinese students enroll in Christian schools, more parents are getting involved with local Christians. Mainly, they've seen their kids' lives change; and they can't help asking what's behind it.
"I see how Christian teachers teach my kids about biblical principles; I wonder if I should know it, too. I am not against it. I want to have discussion with my kids," one Chinese parent said.
Chinese parents believe one of their most important jobs is to raise their children to live successful lives. More and more families are turning to religion to create a positive impact on the next generation.
U.S. Christian schools are not only hoping to enroll more Chinese Millennials, they are also praying that more Chinese parents will see the truth about Jesus.
"I believe this is not just about education. It is more about knowing God is moving to this nation; Chinese government officials knowing Christian education could offer more than just knowledge," Maria said.