✪ One of our churches’ services was interrupted by about 20 members of the local police station and/or the ministry of religion last Thursday evening. They detained four members of the church and took them to the nearest police station for questioning. After questioning each of them, they released them with a warning that their activities, holding Christian church services, outside of the sanctioned three-self church were illegal. Two of the four that were detained are the two young men that are leading the ministry while I am gone.
✪ The officials confiscated all the churches money that it had saved, t-shirts that the church just bought with the church name on them (about 180 shirts) and some of our discipleship materials (15-20 books) and a bible.
✪ One of the guys had to show up at the Ministry of Religion a few days later and they made him sign a letter that basically said the money was seized during an illegal activity and they will be keeping the money. The money they seized was actually that of two churches and it totaled $3,880. This is the money the church would use to buy bible, tracts, pay for church rent, etc. The letter also stated that they have three days to make their case and try to get the money back. One of the guys is going to try on Friday.
✪ I want to ask you to consider giving to help replace this money that was taken by the ministry of religion. The church is now paying its bills service-by-service since all of their savings are now gone. The church is hoping to rent a new apartment for their services as soon as they possibly can, since the current location is known by the police and they have put pressure on the home owner that they rent from.
✪ Even though the church was persecuted on Thursday, they continued with services on Sunday in spite of the threats from the police. The officials don’t know about the second church, so they haven’t had any troubles. The first church has a lot of pressure on them to stop their services.
✪ I wish I could have been their to go through this with them, but at the same time I am thankful that we weren’t so that our time in China, Lord willing, will be extended as the churches are new and the leadership needs more training. Pray that those young men who are filling in for me will be encouraged to go all in.
✪ This incident is not related to what happened to our friends in Harbin, but is due to an accident where someone unknowingly gave a police officer an invitation to our church when out inviting people to church.
✪ The officials do know that there is foreign involvement, but it doesn’t seem to be the main problem since their was no foreigners there when they police came and I am not in the country.
✪ So far, this doesn’t change anything for us returning to China and continuing in the ministry that was started. Lord willing, we will be returning as normal.
✪ Please be in prayer for these young churches and believers as they go through this on their own. It is hard to be away during a time like this. It is hard to sit in the comforts of America while your friends are going through a hard time and their is nothing you can do. But we can pray. Please join us in prayer.