Project China: An Introduction

“A call to carefulness:” read the email, followed by a link.

“I love you!” it concluded. That was it. My Dad signed his name.

It was May 2014, and I was in my fourth year of teaching English and involving myself in churches in southeast China. The link my Dad sent me directed me to a blog article written by Project China founding member Jake, who had just been deported from China a couple of weeks previous. The churches that he started in northeast China had been raided by police on Easter Sunday.

I poured over the article. Why was he kicked out? What did he do? What line was crossed? Was I doing the same things? How was he discovered? What sort of punishment were the Chinese believers he left behind met with? If I continued leading small groups at church and took opportunities to preach, would I face similar consequences?

These questions and many more kept me coming back to Jake’s website day after day reading his previous entries and scouring it for links to other related websites. I wanted answers, yes. But more than answers, I wanted to read about how there were others in China doing what I could only dream of.

I discovered Project China. From there, I discovered Mark, John, Ben, and Ed. I learned that each of them had their own ministries. Some were already in China, while others were still raising support stateside.

I learned that while Jake and John were deported, Mark was still in another city faithfully continuing with a church plant. The fear hadn’t gotten to him.

I read that though Jake and John were not allowed back for many years, they weren’t giving up. They relocated to Taiwan where they continued to start churches and keep in touch with those they had started in the mainland. Those churches in the mainland had been left alone by police once their foreign leadership was removed, and Jake and John were able to provide remote support and discipleship via the internet.

“Surely Mark will be shut down,” I thought. “It’s only a matter of time.”

Yet day after day and week after week, updates were coming through that indicated that the Chinese authorities weren’t aware of the church and that he and the believers he was training were continuing to boldly proclaim the gospel. Jesus was faithfully building His church in China! And He was allowing the building of churches in northeast China to be accomplished through the efforts of American missionaries!

Still in disbelief, I watched online silently for a year. An entire year. I saw Jake and John’s persistence. I read of Mark’s continued boldness. I learned that the Lord was adding to the ranks of Project China missionaries those who were not swayed by the threat of persecution, but instead were willing to count the cost and live to give maximum glory to Jesus Christ in China.

Quietly, secretly, I yearned to be a part.

This is an introduction to a series of articles about our growing team of missionaries, Project China. To learn more about Project China and find subsequent links to the websites of its missionaries, please visit our website at www.projectchina.org.

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