UPDATE (9/28/12): I received this email from my contact in China.
Do continue to pray for the Seminary. I was just informed that our new location was “searched and investigated” by the police. Luckily, we did our homework and they didn’t find anything. But I was told the police still think “something was fishy” about the place when they left, and who knows when the next surprise attack would come. Needless to say, the students are all very shaken up and wonders if the school should shut down for awhile. Church leaders and I will brainstorm on this, but in the mean time, please urgently pray for this new development.
Then, our original place was surrounded by police squad cars and when the church members there demand an official answer on why they had to search the Church in such a grand scale, the police told them that they are investigating “a murder”, yes, a murder, I kid you not. And due to the seriousness of the investigation they had to surround the church and do a thorough investigation. Again, thanks that we left so they didn’t find anything.
I am leaving soon for China, I am at peace, but I wanted all of us to pray for the students there as they are young and most of them haven’t personally experience persecutions like the Christians before them, and are pretty shaken up.
Please continue to pray for our friends who live and minister under the threat of persecution and death.
Our readers may recall the overview I gave of my opportunity to teach a course in an underground seminary in China. The school continues to attract growing numbers of aspiring pastors, teachers, and missionaries from all across China. Our brother overseeing the seminary there has asked for prayer: for his health, but also for immediate concerns facing the churches (and seminaries) with the upcoming power-transfer in the nation’s leadership. I told him that we would post this concern and I hope that you are able to take a moment to remember our brothers and sisters at this time. I’ve removed any names that would identify the location:
As I am rehabbing my feet I have received an emergency news from China. The entire district…is on high alert because of the transfer of power in China. The Chinese model is “peace at all costs” during the transition of power to show that everything is calm and well, and this “peace” is created by a very strong-armed approach by the government, especially the police force that monitors all kinds of illegal activities. Unfortunately, orthodox underground seminary is an illegal activity in China and the Church of…has received news that the police will have “major plans” to sweep through the area. The Church, in emergency actions, has moved all of their training programs to remote locations, and that includes my seminary. We have been moved to a very rural area where all you see is pretty much farmlands around us (but ironically with High Speed Bullet Train running right through the middle of it), and we are told we will stay here until the transition of power is done (which is towards the end of October.) A couple of churches has already been swept by the police but praise the Lord the training programs have already moved and they have found nothing.
Also to be very safe we’ve decided to ask the non-Asian teachers to move their courses later, as there was a course that is going to be taught by a non-Asian, but was informed that the course will be move till later. Another problem this has created is living and studying condition. While we are able to move our student body over to a new church, but we are unable to move the library. Also, the students are asked to sleep on the floor for the next two months. One can imagine the tough physical strain this puts on the students, as well as the lack of resources for students to enhance their studies. Please continue to pray for the safety of the school for the next two months, and that the students are able to adjust physically to a tough environment.