My China Exile Story (2)
This article is an autobiographical record of the exile from China of missionary Yong-Sun CHO who was arrested by Chinese “national security (Guer Bao 国保)” agents from January 5th to 18th of 2018. This article describes the exile process of missionaries from China, which took place just before church gathering disappeared in almost every church in China in early February 2020 due to the severe religious oppression of the Chinese Communist regime. Currently, Chinese underground church members cannot gather in church buildings but have services in their own houses. <Editor>
A Strange Dream
I recalled what has been passed sitting on a couch. Actually, I recalled a dream that I had the day before at night. It was a weird dream. The chief pastor who supported me and sent me as a missionary appeared wearing female clothes. His appearance was awfully strange. Because the pastor is aged, fat-bellied, short and has a face with manlike eyes, nose and lips. All body parts of his looked big and heavy. The image of him in women’s clothes was grotesque. In the dream, the pastor asked me to take him to his home. I escorted him to his home. In the dream, his home was a two-story building. We arrived at his home and when we were to apart, the pastor told me “I am watching you,” holding a handle of a blue door. Then, I woke up.
‘What was that?,’ Even though I felt strange about the dream, I didn’t consider it seriously. However, at 3 PM, a person from “national security (Guer Bao 国保)” came to see me.
When I entered China in 2000 as a missionary, I thought that the spiritual intuitive power is the most important thing while living in the world. When I observed expulsion of senior missionaries in 2003, I estimated that a critical situation comes once in three-years and a catastrophe comes once in nine-years. When I had a sabbatical year in 2009, I baptized a family group of North Koreans whom one of my junior missionaries introduced to me. However, the people who I baptized were arrested by people from State Political Security Department of North Korea and sent to Pyongyang. My wife still thinks that if I had not had the sabbatical year, I could have faced a crisis. I don’t know whether she is right or not, but I was not at the spot at that time.
For one reason or another, I thought that such spiritual event had happed by various situations. When I look back, I had had to have a sabbatical year in 2018 which was 19th year that I worked as a missionary. When I had a sabbatical year before, I could decided to have the sabbatical year because my wife advised me to do so, saying “there would be possibility to spread the gospel in North Korea while staying in the United States,” and there were a serious of some situations to have the sabbatical year as well. Anyways, in 2017, I had had to be out of China for a year.
While I was out of China for a year, the congregation suffered difficulties in many ways. Since I had that experience, when I considered people who would be like “lambs without a shepherd” while I be gone for a year again, I felt compassion for them. I could not be out of China. One of my missionary works that I should had to continue was leading a church in house (having a service in a house) because leaving the church in house for a year would definitely cause difficulties to the Chinese congregation. Since there was no one for the church in house except for me in the area, I couldn’t leave the area. As a result, because I spent much time in the area, I was expelled by people from national security (Guer Bao 国保).
I reflected on my mistake: even though the Lord had showed me a sign in the dream, I failed to escape from the area as my spiritual sensibility was dulled for I was suffering from the hardship of ministry and my own life in China. However, I also thought that it might be a process for me to start a new mission from God, which is teaching to the congregation the languages that used in the bible 4 Hebrew and Greek. Learning the languages can help people to have better understanding of the Bible. In addition, there were other works to be done on the basis of the domestic area, Republic of Korea, such as helping Koreans to have better access to missionary works.
Burst into Tears
In the night, I called out deacon Z. He answered my urgent phone call and came to my home with anxiety. I told him that people from national security (Guer Bao 国保) visited me and I was about to be expelled. That night, I could not sleep. I wake up in the middle of night, and I sat on the couch. I couldn’t believe what had happed to me. ‘Do I really have to leave China?’ I felt like I was dreaming but when I realized that I really should leave China, I burst into tears. I cried before God. I had predicted that I would have to leave China anytime, but when the time came, I felt sorry for the Lord because I thought that all the works I did as a missionary were not enough for the Lord.
There is a gospel song which goes like “I will see my Lord with all the fruits for the Lord at the end of the world…” and when I sang this song, I often cried because I will have to explain what I had done as a missionary when I actually meet my Lord. While writing this article, I still cry, because when I look back on what I had done in China, the fruits of my mission are not good enough for my Lord. On January 6, 2018, early in the morning, I cried and cried before my Lord. Suddenly, I wondered if I was being expelled because I was not enough when my Lord weighed me as a missionary. However, right away, I consoled myself. I knew that I was not enough as a missionary but my Lord knows my heart for him. Wouldn’t that be why the Lord set me as a missionary in Area S in China for 18 years? However, such consoling thought could not stop tears falling from my eyes.
The night passed and a ray of light entered my home through the window. I stood by the window. I asked the Lord why I am being expelled, and he answered to me. There was another work for me to do. That’s why I had to leave China. I talked with him about 20 minutes, standing by the window. That was very awesome. Right until before then, most of my prayer was telling him what happened, just simply telling him from my side. However, I was having the conversation with the Lord, and I still remember the conversation vividly. <<to be continued>>
Missionary Yong-Sun CHO | A member of Global Mission Society (GMS). After he was expelled from China, he has been continuing mission for China on the Internet and he teaches students at World Mission Seminary. [Gospel Prayer News]
Global Mission Society (GMS)
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