The Middle Kingdom is an online media platform where expats living in China can connect for Christian community, fellowship and discipleship.
In Chinese, the name for China is 中国 or “Zhong Guo,” which literally means “Middle Kingdom.” Thus if you are living in China, you are actually living in the Middle Kingdom. As Christians, we’re also living in another kind of “Middle Kingdom.” The Kingdom of Heaven is described as “the already, but not yet” Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is here among us, but we are also aware that we do not enjoy ALL of the benefits of that Kingdom yet.
The Middle Kingdom is a ministry of TJ and Jenni Johnson. Citizens of the Middle Kingdom featured on the podcast and contributors of blogs and articles are young adult expats living, working, and studying in China.
Co-Founder, Orators, Meet-ups, Mentoring
Jenni's first encounter with the Middle Kingdom happened when she was 9 years old. That year she visited her first Chinese restaurant in Magnolia, AR, and ordered 'tea.' She was quite surprised when it arrived not only hot (and not served over ice), but also unsweetened and in a tiny pot with tiny cups! That was also the year Jenni Johnson made her faith real at a summer church camp and became a citizen of the true Middle Kingdom. Jenni has lived in Beijing since 2007 with her family. Her favorite spot in the city is JingShan Park. When she isn't at Hope International School bossing everyone around or spending time in the podcast studio, you might find her at Baker and Spice enjoying her favorite caffeinated beverage or meandering about looking for her phone.
Co-Founder, Small Groups, Resources
TJ's first encounter with the Middle Kingdom happened when he was around 12 years old. Yet it wasn't until he was 16 that his understanding of the Middle Kingdom began to grow as he found the joy of encountering Jesus through the pages of scripture. TJ has lived in Beijing since 2007 with his family. His favorite thing about the city is its ethnic diversity and the opportunities it affords for meaningful impact upon multiple people groups. He passions are Christ, family, discipleship, coffee, and reading.
The Middle Kingdom Guild
India's first encounter with the Middle Kingdom happened when she was around 9 years old. Her parents returned from a trip to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong; they came bearing pearls and silk dresses. India never imagined God would bring her to live in Beijing, but she has now been here almost two full years and plans to stay a third. India dates her birth into the true Middle Kingdom to November 3,1996 when her dad helped her ask Jesus into her heart. Her passions today include good friends, good food, good drinks, and good hikes.
Keara has been a citizen of the Middle Kingdom for as long as she can remember, but it was after university that she really became active in her faith. She has lived in Beijing since 2015 and works as a high school teacher. She loves Beijing for its fast pace and variety of opportunities. Her passions include reading, writing, dogs, coffee, and travel.
Emmie's first encounter with the Middle Kingdom when she was 4 years old upon watching who ended up being her favorite Disney princess: Mulan. In high school, she stumbled upon Chinese language classes and slowly God wove everything together to bring her to Beijing for going on 2 years. Growing up in a Christian context, Emmie believed in Jesus at a young age, but really began to understand what citizenship in the true Middle Kingdom was during her Junior year of high school. On a good day you'll find her eating cake with friends, adventuring across the city, or simply reading a book.