KLIPSAN BEACH While most people take out their China dishes for Christmas dinner, Amanda Bentley used her winter vacation from Washington State University to join 50 other students from Pullmans Resonate Church to go on a mission trip to China.
Bentley, whose parents Kelly and Shelly Bentley live in Klipsan Beach, spent about three weeks raising funds for the trip that her church of over 500 college-age students sponsored. Following are excerpts of her first-hand account:
Our team ranged in age from 19 to 23 and we had mechanical engineer, elementary education, international business, and environmental majors in our group of 12 that included me, an art major. Our 11 ½-hour flight to Beijing was long, but uneventful.
Upon landing we had to run like a mad man to catch our next flight. We started yarping, which is code for praying that God wasnt going to let us miss our flight. Chinese people in the airport werent used to seeing Americans in full-on winter garb, running with suitcases.
After customs and waiting for the last two of our team to get on the plane just before the door was closed we realized Gods ultimate power. Finally we met the missionary we would be working with, an English professor at a technical college.
We were to help students study for their final English exams. The first day we walked in the classroom the students started cheering and clapping and they whipped out their cell phones to take our picture. We were celebrities and the first foreigners that many had seen.
The missionary gave the okay to share a Christmas presentation to the students and we taught them Joy to the World. It gave us the perfect opening to share the gospel and to talk about Jesus and the Christmas story.
One night we went to English Corner and about 200 Chinese college students showed up. On Christmas Eve we put on a Christmas play for those students. I was the lead angel. This was the pinnacle of our trip to blatantly share the gospel with hundreds of students. They especially liked the carols in our skit.
Just as our Christmas play started someone started blasting music over the speakers outside. We just had to belt out our lines and pray that God would use us.
On Christmas day we visited a nearby farm and had dinner at an American restaurant including turkey, popcorn, pizza, French fries and chocolate cake. That was definitely the most eclectic Christmas dinner Ive ever had. Later during the trip I ate pork tongue, intestine, and chicken head.
While in China a group of girls came up to me, and one said, I can tell you have God because you are so happy and carefree. I can tell that you dont have to worry about anything because you know that God is with you and that He is protecting you. Im excited to get to heaven and see the results of our seed planting.
Its nice to be back in the States on New Years Day. I have never appreciated Starbucks so much. I want to thank all for their financial support and prayers. This was a once in a lifetime experience.