‘God put China on my heart’ Levesque builds relationships, shares gospel in Nanning
yndi Levesque likes to tell people who ask about her occupation that she makes friends for a living. It turns out, she does — by teaching English in China — and that making friends can have eternal rewards. Levesque, who until recently taught English at Guangxi University in the southwestern Chinese city of Nanning, continues as a volunteer English teacher through a local registered Chinese church. Through that work, she develops relationships with students that become friendships and opportunities to share the gospel in a country where strict limits are placed on witnessing about matters of faith. “In China, everything is about relationships,” she said. “In the Cyndi Levesque teaches English at the registered church in Nanning, building close relationships with students. university setting, by treating students with fairness and respect, I was missions workers] and we had visited many who worked at a restaurant near where exhibiting Christian characteristics. I [field personnel] in different countries, but Levesque taught. showed compassion and concern when never China,” she said. “For some reason, “She comes from a poor family in a students needed help. After classes, I God put China on my heart and in 2005 rural area, and has no higher education, hosted parties for students in my home I visited China on a mission trip for 10 but is self-taught in English. We befriended and invited students out to restaurants. days. When I came back, I felt God was her and always asked for her to take our During these informal times, they would nudging me to pursue further education order since we could not read the Chinese ask lots of questions. Gradually they in ministry.” menu,” Levesque said. “We invited her became interested in me, my family and my Levesque earned a master’s degree in to church worship and church English background. The Chinese highly respect Christian ministry while continuing to classes, and she gradually began to attend their teachers, and if you also become their work full time. After much prayer, she and weekly with us. Since that time, she has friend, you find yourself in a close-knit her husband traveled to China for a month accepted Christ.” circle or network, which means they trust in 2007 to seek an appropriate opportunity. When Levesque broke her ankle, Carly you and care deeply about you.” She took early retirement in 2008 to enable would come every Sunday to help her That leads to opportunities to discuss the move and got the university job. She carry her bag to the bus stop, then help one’s personal background — which, was commissioned as one of CBF’s field her throughout her long day of church and for Levesque, naturally involves talking personnel that same year. English classes. about her faith. She had a 27-year career Levesque has written a brochure “Carly and I became good friends,” working in environmental management for describing her testimony in English and Levesque said. “I know that because when a public utility in Texas. During that time, had it translated into Chinese. That’s we are walking together, she grabs my she engaged in missions work and taught assisted her in explaining her “story,” hand and holds it closely in hers — this is English for Speakers of Other Languages as she calls it, to Chinese friends who the Chinese girls’ way of showing affection while in the United States. are interested. and care.” “My husband and I had been involved She makes those friends everywhere. with CBF for some time as [short-term One is Carly, a young woman in her 20s By contributing writer Rob Marus fellowship!