History of Our First 3 Years in China
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Bamboo Curtain Training Program
In 2000 we clearly knew the Lord was calling us to China. I want to emphasise that at that time, China then was still comparatively little known and understood by most of the world.
As we looked for ways to prepare for this huge change, somebody informed us of a two-month training program based in a nearby country, which trained would-be missionaries to operate inside the ‘bamboo curtain’ as it was called then.
Going to China historically has always been a spiritually and often physically costly affair for foreign Christians. Many have gone and failed and some have gone and succeeded dramatically. Many have gone and died there for their faith also. Generally though, it has mostly been the Chinese Christians themselves who have succeeded inside their own country, while foreigners have not always been able to hit the mark, with a few notable exceptions.
However the potential for success for Jesus Christ in China is like finding the Holy Grail, because it is the Holy Grail of souls. 1.4 Billion of them today and counting. Yet the price God often requires is everything. For myself when I went to China there was never a week that passed but that I wanted to leave, and that battle lasted well over 10 years! So intense were the spiritual and mind battles and various other battles primarily in the Spirit that at times it was overwhelming. Many other missionaries experienced similar feelings and trials. I think the devil has never wanted any sincere Christian in China since the beginning of time.
Anyway, back to the beginning. And the beginning for myself and about 12 other Christian adults and our families who believed they had been called by God to China was to meet up at this mountain base overlooking the South China sea in a nearby country for this two month intensive course on ‘how to live in an underground country and survive and bear fruit that remains’.
John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
The church hosting this comprised also in part of several (Western) missionaries all who had themselves been in China some years before, but having been arrested and then deported all on the exact same day!
Furthermore they all lived across the country in four different cities! The Chinese PSB police had them under surveillance for many months and then decided to arrest them all simultaneously in multiple locations in this manner. Quite shocking really. A bit like when Jesus will return it will be like a ‘thief in the night’. Nobody was prepared or ready. Because they had all communicated with each other they were all linked easily.
Luke 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
So those hosting us were under no illusions how watchful authorities were at that time of any foreigners who didn’t appear to fit in with the normal Scientist, ‘Foreign Expert’, business person or teacher but had some other agenda, such as ‘passing on God’s Word’ to the Chinese populace. The ‘Laws of China’ forbade it, and still do, as I write.
For us attending this course, it was an enormous wealth of information and knowledge and advice, encouragement and warnings about how to share the Gospel safely and live safely once we entered the Middle Kingdom. Some of the points were centered on, emails, phone calls, security, computer security, government spies and ‘plants’ and how to recognize them, the advantages and pitfalls of Chinese culture, as well as the basics of Chinese language and advice on methods how to master it, etc.
Although I am not going to divulge all that we learned there, it is surprising how advanced these missionaries were back in 2000!
I think most Christians would benefit greatly from similar training as when we enter the End-Time more fully, many of us or our grown children or future generations (if the Lord tarry) will be in that position of facing much greater hostility in various societies.
Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.