Some 55 Amity teachers and 10 organization representatives from all around the world has just concluded an annual conference, which once again allows them to examine the real need of China.
In Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 2006 Amity Teachers Winter conference was commenced on Jan. 15- 22, according to Amity Foundation. The conference focused on studying the Guangxi through introductions to its culture and educational situation and Amity projects carrying out within the region.
A three-day field trip was organized for all conference participants to local Amity projects, including the Yizhou School for Special Education, a disaster relief project in Xiangzhou County and a village clinic in Laibin.
Guangxi is multi-ethnic region with a total population of 48.57 million by 2003. The largest ethnic groups are Zhuang, Han, Yao, Miao, Dong, Mulam, Maonan, Hui, Jing, Yi, Shui and Gelao, and some 25 smaller ones. Therefore, there is a wide variety of outreach work that needs to be done.
Amity teachers and staff held a series of workshops on different topics related to life and work in China in the rest of the conference. A report from Amity's 20th anniversary celebrations held in November 2005 was also presented.
Alongside with the above activities to exchange their work experiences among themselves, conference participants had the opportunity to worship at the local church and visit the church-run home for the elderly.
The Amity Teachers Program is a project through which people from around the world are recruited and sponsored by church agencies working in partnership with Amity and sent to China to teach English, Japanese, or German. The program allows overseas Christians to work in cooperation with the government-sanctioned Chinese churches. Many Amity teachers come from the United States, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Philippines, Japan and among others. The program
Under the current religious law of China, foreign language teachers are permitted to profess their Christian faith on college campuses openly provided that their proselytizing remains discreet. Therefore, even though Amity Foundation is a Chinese Christian-based voluntary organization, it does not encourage teachers to consider themselves as evangelists.
Amity Foundation rather emphasizes a Christian service; teachers are suggested to bear witness to their faith through their teaching work and through participation with Chinese churches. It also requires teachers to respect the three-self principles (self-government, self-support, and self-propagation) of the government-sanctioned Chinese church. And teachers are encouraged to participate in local church services.