A Snapshot Of Our Move! Big Family, Big Move!
On November 11, 2019 we left our house around 6:15 in the morning (local time EST) to head back to China for our official second term. Here is a quick snapshot of what it looked like when we returned to the field: we had 28 checked bags (14 free bags, 1 free stroller bag, 13 paid bags); 7 carry-ons (one for each person); 2 strollers (for the twins); 2 car seats (for the twins on the plane); 6 personal items (5 backpacks and 1 diaper bag); all of this totals 45 “items” plus 7 people (2 adults and 5 kids). I must say that I have a faithful wife who loves God and is brave enough to travel to the other side of the world with this entourage. We arrived in China on November 12 around 10:15 at night (local time). There was a group of 11 or so Chinese waiting on us, many whom we longed to see since our departure last year.
A Radical Change Of Events: Persecution Continues…
The very next day we started house hunting. We had a friend watching the kids so we could spend the majority of the day looking at houses. The very first house we saw was exactly what we were looking for and in the very area we wanted to be in. Although the initial price was out of our budget. We continued to look at places. By the end of the next day, we ended up choosing the first house and discussing the price with the landlord. He was a friend of a friend. We met over tea and he agreed to a very reasonable price. We were praising the Lord for this. We were very excited and prepared to sign at least a two year contract the next morning and turn over six months of rent plus deposit. But the following morning the Chinese pastor received a WeChat request from the police officer who had given him trouble at the beginning of this year. He works for the Chinese Nation Security Bureau. We knew this wasn’t good news. After adding his WeChat, he requested to meet with him in person. He agreed to meet him that afternoon. The following five or so hours was long as we awaited news about what was going on. I fasted and prayed. My wife and a Chinese friend took the kids to a mall to play as a distraction for them. Once the Chinese pastor returned, he informed us that they knew we were back in the city and they were seeking information about us to deport us from the country. He said they were very clear about their intentions. This was a surprise to us as we already went through the necessary protocols and were issued work visas, allowed in the country through customs and security etc. But it appears there was someone who possibly reported us. The police officer had mentioned that someone gave him the Chinese pastors WeChat. We had only been in the city around 3 days and now it seemed that we wouldn’t be able to stay.
Over the next several hours, we brainstormed about what to do. We got council and prayed for guidance. We concluded that the Lord is leading us away from our current city of ministry to another one, for the time being. Choosing to stay is putting our ability to work in the mainland at high risk and putting unnecessary pressure on the pastors who know me because they are being persecuted to turn over information on me. The Chinese pastor has to meet with the police again in the future because he did not cooperate with them by giving them my information. We are thankful he was released, but he might not find that favor at their next meeting. God has given me faithful men who put their own livelihoods at risk so we can minister here. They are truly willing to live persecuted lives for the sake of the gospel. I am humbled by their reasonable service to our Lord. WILL YOU PRAY WITH ME FOR THEM?
As we started praying about what city we could go to, we felt the best option for all things considered is to move to Taipei which is the capital city in the Republic of China (Taiwan). This will allow us as a family to have a home base and to start a new church and ministry, but also, serve as a launching pad for us to continue making trips into the cities of Northeastern China that we are ministering in. So the goal with this move would be to: (1) have a new base of operations since we are compromised in our current city; (2) have a place to easily travel from to the mainland so that we can continue to work with the Chinese pastors we are training and with our American teammates.
Relocating Setup Fund – A Special Need For Such A Time!
Over the eight years we have spent in China, we have waved through the storms of persecution. We have stayed, fled, moved locations or did whichever one we though was right for the situation. But each instance seems to bring them a little closer as they build a track record on me. This time we have chosen to flee (and avoid deportation from our current city of ministry) to another so that we may live to minister another day in the mainland. I am reminded of the following:
Go forward speaking the gospel and if needed flee to another location. Jesus tells His disciples that when people persecute them in a certain city they were allowed to flee to another city. We should be aware and alert to the danger that could happen and if needed move to another location as long as we keep on preaching the gospel. We are permitted to leave a city because of persecution but we shouldn’t stop preaching the gospel. Thus, the task is more important than the location—even if the location can’t be changed. Matthew 10:23Lesson: How Can We Go Forward In The Face Of Persecution?
Thus, we are relocating. But this means that we also have to start from scratch for our setup. We will be able to take our belongings with us, but we won’t be able to take our furniture or vehicle and selling them second-hand in China won’t give us a good enough return to replace them in the new city. Thus, we will need to raise an additional funds for this special need so that we get establish and, Lord willing, be debt free at the end of it.
In our last prayer letter we were raising funds for this return to China and we reported the following: “We have raised nearly $5,500 of the $10,000 needed in our Church Planting Fund and nearly $17,900 of the $20,000 needed for our Reentry Setup Fund. Altogether we have reached 78% of our total goal. If you haven’t already, would you pray about giving a one-time love offering of any amount to help us reach these needs?“
So we need to finish raising those funds but also raise at least an additional $30,000 for our move to Taipei to cover the cost of resetting up life there…as if it was our first time arriving on the field. This will help cover the cost of the following:
- Plane tickets for our family of seven to the new city.
- Moving cost of sending our belongings to the new city (extra baggage cost on the plane).
- Cost of a new vehicle (van) for our family.
- Furniture and appliances to furnish the house.
I am sure there are going to be much more cost as we get setup that we haven’t even thought of yet, but this should at least get us started and somewhat settled.
Will You Give A One-Time Love Offering?
We are NOT planning on returning to the USA but relocating ASAP to avoid the chance of deportation. Thus, a one-time love offering will help us relocate and continue the work the Lord has given us to do. We are thankful for our partners who support us on a monthly basis, those who have recently given to help us with our other recent funds and our praying friends, but now we are asking for you to consider again a one-time love offering of any amount ($100, $250, $500, $1,000, $5,000 etc.) to help us reach these needs.
Will you be willing to give a one-time love offering of however much the Lord leads towards our church planting and relocation setup funds? Your one-time gift of any amount will help us, Lord willing, relocated and continue to evangelize the lost, establish many more local baptist churches and equip and train national leaders. I hope that you will prayerfully consider partnering with us to see the cost of our relocation and the need of this new church plant funded.
Will you be an extra blessing to this ministry with a one-time love offering?
We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. All gifts and love offerings of any amount can be given online, ChinaMinistry.org, or sent to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009 with a note in the memo. Thank you for giving, praying, serving, and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward and keep fighting the good fight. May we strive every day to know Jesus, to be happy in the Him, and to make Him known!