Student – This option is also a popular option, especially in China. You can apply at a university or approved school to take classes. Most apply to study the Language of that country. This is a great option for first-termers who already need to learn the language and can get a visa for the purpose. Usually your visa is approved for the length of time that you pay for and the school helps you in the visa process. Depending on the school you choose, there could be a lot of time required, but that isn’t always the case. I have obtained a visa through this route and I am only required to have class six hours a week.
pros of this option is that you get a long-term visa and your time is used studying the language, something that you should already desire to do in your ministry. Your whole family doesn’t have to attend, just one person to receive visas for the whole family.
cons is that you have to pay for your tuition plus the visa cost for your family. There is a chance that the classes and homework can be very time consuming.
result of this method have been good in both evangelism and church-planting efforts. Church planters have been able to use this visa during their process of language acquisition and then through the process of planting a church. Others have used this option to make themselves available on college campuses so that they might reach out the university students and start small bible studies.
So is all of this legit?
I think so, and here are two reasons why:
1) Human government shouldn’t make laws that precede God’s commands. Of course they can choose to create such laws and enforce them but the Christian’s first and foremost authority is God and obedience to His commands. This should precede all human laws which would mean these laws are invalid.
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:27-29
So the choice is left to the Christian: obey God and suffer persecution because of it or disobey.
2) We have an old testament example of God telling His prophet to go into a land with a hostile government. He gave him a specific duty to do (sacrifice) for his protection against the government (undercover) in order to carry out his ultimate mission (anointing). Read 1 Samuel 16 for the whole story.
“And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.” 1 Samuel 16:2-3