UNDERGROUND UNIVERSITY (UU) CHINA
To enable the church in China to remain one body with the church around the world today and the church throughout history, at a time when the Chinese government is trying to sever both types of connections.
JUST THE FACTS ON THE MAYFLOWER CHURCH
In August, the Mayflower Church decided to leave JeJu Island in much the same way that they came – in small groups over a period of a few weeks. After consulting with different groups related to their asylum case, they decided that JeJu Island was a “dead-end” in their hopes for asylum and that a move to Thailand could open up a new opportunity for asylum in America or elsewhere.
In early September, all but one Chinese family had left JeJu for Thailand. One family, who had recently had a baby, was unable to get a passport for the baby. So, they were stuck in JeJu until just last week, when the Chinese consulate in JeJu granted the baby a passport. The family is now in Thailand with the rest of the church.
As each family entered Thailand, they registered with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and very recently several families have had their first interview. No one really knows the timetable or even the probability of what will happen next. But most of the church members see it as a good sign to have had their first interview.
Pastor Tim teaches in a secret location where the whole church was able to gather.
Currently, the church is in a high-security situation as Chinese secret police have been trying to find the church and, on a few occasions, have physically threatened the church while they were in public areas.
Technically speaking, the church members are living illegally in Thailand, so an even greater threat exists if the Thai police find the group, because they could be sent back to China.
The Mayflower Church assembles together for the first time since all the members arrived in Thailand, to receive persecution training from Voice of the Martyrs Korea.
UU CHINA TRAINING WITH THE MAYFLOWER CHURCH
One young boy prepared a special egg dish for us when we visited his home.
Although, the Mayflower Church has received a lot of help from around the world related to their asylum, the help they receive from VOMK is of a totally different nature.
Our “UU China” curriculum is centered around the cross and is designed to bring them “face to face” with what the Bible says about “faithful witness,” aka martyrdom. The Mayflower Church has always received this message well and attempted to put these principles into practice in the life of their church and their families. This training was no different.
One of the first things that Pastor Pan said to us when we arrived was that the whole church was still practicing “family worship.” This was what we taught them two-years ago at an early VOMK UU China training. And in fact, when we visited all the homes (more like a small room) of each of the Mayflower families on this trip, several of the families were worshipping together.
One reason that our training has been so valuable to the church is that the message of martyrdom is unlike any other message they have received. Often, when Western Missionaries visited them, the missionaries are “in awe” of this group and affirm everything that the church has done in a positive manner. While this undoubtedly makes them feel good, this feeling is temporary. The message of martyrdom challenges everyone who hears it and causes the “hearer” to re-examine their own lives in light of Scripture and in light of the cross.
Floyd Brobbel visited the Mayflower Church in late August. Some members of the church had already moved to Thailand, but Pastor Pan and a few others were still there.
Please Pray With Us For The Following Requests:
이 사역을 위해 기도해주시기 바랍니다.
- Pray for the Mayflower Church members who continue to be harassed by the Chinese government. The church is in a high-security situation in Thailand due to the efforts of the Chinese secret police to find them.
- Pray for our 2023 training that we are already in the process of planning. Pray that the Lord would bring together Chinese Christians who need to hear the message of what it means to be a “faithful witness” in the midst of persecution.