Following Her Heart: A Student’s Journey to China

by Public Relations

In spring semester of 2009, Cedarville University graduate Amber Jones was working towards graduation and deciding where her early childhood education degree would take her. She knew that she enjoyed teaching but more than anything she wanted to help the unloved.

Jones started applying for jobs but was unsure that she wanted to deal with the complicated process and low employment rates in the United States; so she picked up an application for the International Schools of China. As God began opening doors, Jones says she “decided it would be silly not to take the opportunity to move to China and teach in a Christian school.” So she moved to Shenyang, China in July 2009 to teach her first kindergarten class.

Jones calls her first year in China “idyllic.” She had a huge room for only eight students and by the end of the year her two Chinese interns were capably handling the classroom.

With her relatively easy transition, Jones was also able to find time to work in China’s orphanages. She was determined to become involved in the orphanages even before she started the application process to go to China — even when she was told that this possibility would be highly unlikely.

“I have always had a soft heart towards orphans and widows,” says Jones. “But the picture of the African child my parents sponsored through World Vision didn’t feel like enough.” So she started working with the Home of Joy as the only foreigner involved in the program. She was given the opportunity to foster little Shui-man, an infant boy now being adopted by Jones’s parents. She still works with the orphanage, bringing a team of local high school students as she also serves as an emergency foster mother.

“I am so glad that I moved to China,” says Jones. “I have changed so much as a person. I am more aware of the fallen world we live in and even more passionate about helping others, especially the orphans.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at