Thriving Turtles

Christians returning to China.

Thriving Turtles

A ministry preparing Chinese Christians to return and thrive in China.

Thriving Turtles

Christians returning to China.

Thriving Turtles

Chinese Christians blessing China.

What is a sea turtle?



Sea turtle or, "海龟 hai gui" in Chinese sounds the same as to return from studying overseas "海归". Every year thousands of Chinese move temporarily overseas to study, and every year thousands also return home after a life changing experience of studying abroad. All of these returning students and workers have been transformed in some way by their experiences. Their study programs have challenged them to think and dialogue. They have been encouraged to be creative and to interact with the world around them. They have asked the big questions and many of them have come to faith. They have blossomed and flourished during their time abroad. Now it is time to go home. At first this seems easy. A plane flight of a few hours and then they will be back in their home - but this is not as easy as it looks. They have changed, and their home has changed - they are not going to just fit back in. This website offers resources and encouragement for Christian sea turtles and the people who are working with them.

Chinese students in Australia.

Each year more than 600,000 international students come to Australia to study, more than a quarter of them from mainland China. Australia is ranked the third largest supplier of international education in the world, only the US and the UK have more students than Australia. When the much smaller population is considered, Australia has the highest percentage (22%) of international tertiary students in all OECD countries. A walk through the campus of any major university in Australia will confirm this - Mandarin is heard almost as often as English. We can be thankful for the gospel ministries on our campuses that are reaching many of these international students. The truly exciting thing about this is that many of these students would never have heard the gospel in their home country.

Returning home!

Sadly, experience shows that when these students return home to China, most of them will leave their faith behind. Considering the faithful discipleship invested in these students in Australia, this is a difficult fact to accept. How does this happen? It’s difficult to investigate this problem because most of the students who fall away simply drop out of communication leaving those who are trying to follow them up at a complete loss to explain what has gone wrong. However, some careful investigation by researchers reveals some of the pressures returning Chinese students face in China, pressures which slowly conflict with the Christian life and crush the faith out of the new believer. Thriving Turtles is a ministry dedicated to seeing these new Chinese Christians make successful transitions back to China, to thrive in their faith and be a blessing to China.