Sunday morning before we left the house I updated my status as:
“It’s Sunday! The police know we are a church and know where we meet, nothing left to do but keep going forward trusting God! Psalm 5:11-12.”
We had problems on Wednesday with the police after a routine check up but we weren’t aware of how serious the problem was at that time. We just knew that the police knew about the church.
Then somewhere around 11:30 on Sunday morning, just minutes after one of the Chinese pastors stood in front of the crowd and started preaching the Word of God, the door in the back opened and a line of people started to enter (at first I honestly thought “wow, look at all those visitors coming in!”). They continued to walk to the front of the auditorium, then I noticed some wearing police uniforms, and they walked to the front and stopped the preacher and stopped the service.
There were about 20 people in total, some police officers and others from the religious department. A few were in police uniforms but most were in civilian clothing. The had people at each of the doors blocking the exits. Then they continued to go to each person asking questions and gathering personal information. They separated the foreigners and the Chinese nationals. The took our information but of course none of us Americans had our passports.
One of the guys who claimed to be a cop asked me if I was a preacher and had preached here, I responded in the affirmative.
After collecting information from everyone in attendance the head guy gave a speech to the Chinese nationals and let them go, expect for the pastors and one church member.
Then they gave a speech to us foreigners and then let us go.
Afterwards, they took four of our members from the church (three pastors) to the police station and questioned them. We returned to the church, prayed and while we were waiting for any news from the guys, removed all of our stuff from our rented location and moved it to our other location. Not long after we were finished moving all our stuff everyone returned from the police station. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits and explained what happened at the police station and the questions they were asked.
Everyone started to calm down, we encourage each other to pray and trust God and people went their own way.