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My China Exile Story (4)

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>

Why would they call me back to the National Police Agency?

I had notified my situation to the headquarters through my junior missionary K in Cambodia. After the headquarters received the news, a person from the headquarters gave me a phone call. However, I could feel that the phone call was being tapped.

I used WeChat which is like KakaoTalk in Republic of Korea when I notified my situation to the headquarters through missionary K. To the headquarters, I delivered the phone number of Guer Bao agent, what the agent investigated of me, what I felt while I was having the meetings with the agent, and some predictable changes in policy that would be brought out in China toward missionaries for China from Republic of Korea.

I notified the phone number of the agent was to make other missionaries to avoid being expelled from China. I thought other missionaries would be able to leave their houses and/or places for mission when they recognize the phone number of the agent while the agent continues expelling missionaries from other protestant denominations in area S.

On January 9th, 12 o’clock at night, the Guer Bao agent called me again. He told me to come to the hall of the National Police Agency at 2 PM since there were some administratively missed parts which should be processed.

At the moment, I thought ‘Are they investigating me again because they realized that I informed the phone number of the Guer Bao agent and some information? Did it bother them?’ When the thought came to my mind, I felt more nervous than when I met the agent for the first time. I even thought that giving the information was foolish thing. However, soon I thought that preventing other missionaries being expelled from China is my duty, even though the missionaries are from other protestant denominations though.

While taking the subway, I thought ‘Should I run away instead of going to the National Police Agency?’ However, if I don’t show up in the place at the appointed time, even though I try to fly to Republic of Korea the next day, I would be caught in the Chinese airport. Many thoughts ran in my head but I had to meet the Guer Bao agent at 2 PM.

Being very nervous, I met the Guer Bao agent. Unexpectedly, he bowed to me. With gentle smile on his face, he told me “I called you to come today because your ten finger prints should be recorded, which was forgotten yesterday.” I was greatly released.

Worshipping Chinese Christians ⓒ Gospel Prayer News
Worshipping Chinese Christians ⓒ Gospel Prayer News

I was had been listed as a deportee much before I was expelled.

While a computer was recognizing my finger prints, I talked with the Guer Bao agent. He told me that some agents in another district had come to area S to catch me in 2015. I told him that there is no reason for the agents to come from another district to catch me in that period of time because I did missionary activities mainly in my resident area R. However, the Guer Bao agent told me undoubtedly that the Guer Bao agents from another district had come to catch me. I couldn’t understand why. Why did they come to catch me? The Guer Bao agent told me another story. Actually, they were to catch me in 2017 to expel me out of China but they had to move onto another work since they were too busy in 2017.

While coming back to home on subway, I dwelt on what the Guer Bao agent told me, and one thing that happened in 2015 crossed in my mind. Missionary K recommended me as an instructor for five days in a retreat for university students from a plurality of universities around February. Were the Guer Bao agents in that area trying to catch me because of the instruction in the retreat? If is so, even though they didn’t catch me and returned, that implies that the Guer Bao agents in area S knew about me from the Guer Bao agents of that district where I worked as the instructor for five days. Then, why would they have left me free? If the Guer Bao agents from the district where the retreat held in came to catch me, aren’t the Guer Bao agents in area S supposed to consider my missionary activities serious and arrest me to investigate and expel? But why? Why did the Guer Bao agents who knew me at that time leave me to do the missionary works?

When I was pondering on that, there was something that came to my mind. My student L who was my 4th student sometimes told me:

“I am praying for your safety, teacher. It is because I have to learn the words of God from you.”

I realized that the Lord listened the prayer of him/her. Actually, I could have been expelled in 2015 and in 2017. However, I was not expelled in 2015 or in 2017 and stayed in China. I taught L the words of God from 2011. Thinking back, if I had been expelled in 2015, he/she would have learned about three years. However, since I was expelled in the beginning of 2018, he/she learned the words of God at least six years. I think six years is quite enough. His/her prayer had expended the time for me to stay in China for three years. <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]

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