God has been good through everything that has gone on in the past couple of weeks. I would like to update everyone and let you know our plans. From my last update, the Chinese friend and fellow believer who helped the church rent a building in his name did go into the police station about a week after we got back into the states. He was handcuffed, mistreated, beaten, and interrogated for several hours before being thrown into a cold prison cell. The police wanted him to give them information about our missionary friend Mark. They also briefly asked about us. This dear friend was very loyal and didn’t give over any information. He was sentenced to seven days in jail, but was released early after 48 hours. (They allowed his wife to come pay a fine to let him out early so he could be with his family for the Chinese New Year holiday) The police told him they would contact him after the Chinese New Year, but didn’t say if he will have to go back to jail to finish his seven day sentence. Please pray that the police would just drop it and not contact him again.
The Chinese pastor Charles was interrogated again by the police the same day we arrived back in the US and was told what he was doing being a pastor was illegal, the church was illegal, allowing foreigners to teach the Bible was illegal, and witnessing to university students was illegal. The police gave him a warning and told him that this time there would just be a warning, but next time he won’t get off so easy. That was the last time the police have contacted him. He has continued preaching the Gospel and the church will continue to meet regularly, but is now meeting at different locations and times than it used to.
We are praying this is the end of everything that the police are trying to do. Persecution definitely has come and the believers have had a good testimony and desire to move forward serving God. Please pray that they would be faithful despite having to live and worship in the threat of persecution.
Nancy and I right now are trying to ask friends in China to move everything out of our house and into a storage apartment. Please pray they can very quickly find an apartment to rent for storage. We had a friend’s friend get our car out of the airport in Shenyang. (We had to leave it there when we fled.) This friend will hopefully be able to drive the car back to Dalian where another friend can sell it for us. Praise the Lord for how God is working these things out and pray that everything else could be worked out quickly.
Once we have everything moved and vacated, we will try to terminate our lease and notify the university that we will not be returning for the spring semester of language school in Dalian. Once we do this, both our landlord and university should notify the local police station that we are not returning. If all this goes well, then we plan to get a new passport and apply for new Chinese visas. If they are approved, then we will make plans to head back to China, but to a different province. Please pray for wisdom and God’s help in all of this.
We are not sure of the exact timeline of everything, but if there are no hiccups we could be back in China by the end of March or sometime in April. We feel like God wants us to try to get back in and continue trying to reach mainland China with the Gospel as long as there is a door open for us. If the door to get back in closes completely then we will know God wants us to go somewhere else and will pray about where next God would have us to go. Thank you so much for praying for us during this difficult time.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless and God sure is good!
Kanon & Nancy