Preparing for English Teaching in China: Lance & Laura

Lance & Laura, from Marketing Professionals to High School Teachers

It all started when Lance and Laura went on their first missions trip more than ten years ago. They were both in marketing when they caught the vision of working as professionals in China. While they tried to figure out how to merge their career and calling, they kept the vision alive by sharing their experience with others.

Getting the Family Ready

First, they gave thanks for sharing the same vision! They recognized the gift of not only having a like-minded mate but also a missions-minded partner in one another. They thought about the timing of having children and put that consideration into their plan. They also knew that it would be hard to say goodbye to Lance’s widowed mother, although she would be well cared for by his siblings.

Identifying their Passion

Then, they thought about the people that they would love to reach and serve. From their short term and volunteer experience, they realized they enjoyed working with high school and college students. When they heard about the need for education in rural regions of China, they went on a vision trip to explore and see for themselves.

Merging their Career & Calling

In finding a suitable platform for work and ministry, they felt drawn to teaching English despite their business background because education is the key to helping those in rural communities to improve their livelihood. Since they were committed to going overseas for the long haul, they were willing to invest time to get a teaching certificate or credential.

Developing a Missional Lifestyle

Besides serving at church, they volunteered at missions organizations and served in their community, reaching out to the needy in hospitals or on the streets. They were active in sharing their faith with others. Developing a missional lifestyle was important for Lance and Laura to stay on course, especially because it took them many years to finish seminary studies and obtain their ESL certificates while working and serving as laypeople.

Finding the Right Jobs

About nine months before their relocation, Lance and Laura started their application to join the GoLiveServe network. Simultaneously, they started applying for teaching jobs through the contacts of GLS. By planning in advance, they had plenty of time to raise prayer support, pack, and say their goodbyes.

Tentmaking = Excelling at Work & Active in Witnessing

With the support of their home community and GLS, they have been serving in rural China for more than three years now, teaching high school students. They love inviting students to their home and getting to know them personally. Through developing relationships with students, they also find opportunities to meet and get to know some of the parents.

Moreover, they have been able to build an excellent relationship with their employer because they have the expertise to develop or take on new programs and contribute to the growth of the school. So when they look back upon their years of preparation, they were glad for the time that they had spent on getting their credentials.

At a glance, these are the areas that they considered in preparing to serve in China as English teachers:


  • Going on short term missions projects together
  • Sharing with pastors, missions committees, family and friends
  • Participating in local and regional missions conferences
  • Networking with like-minded people and organizations

Further Education

  • Certificate or credentials for teaching English
  • Master in Divinity
  • Language classes and tapes for self-study

Teaching/Ministry Experience

  • ESL (English as second language)
  • Sunday school
  • Basic Christianity classes for non-believers and newcomers
  • Small groups, Alpha courses and evangelistic Bible studies