You may be aware of the raid by Chinese police on Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu and the detention and interrogation of more than 100 church members. Today formal criminal charges have been made against ten defendants, including Pastor Wang Yi and his wife, along with eight other church members. Other charges will likely follow, so the total number of criminal defendents is likely to reach 12-14.
If you have not yet read the statement Pastor Wang asked to be released in the event of his detainment for more than 72 hours, please take a moment to do so:
. It is important reading for all Christians around the world, not only in relation to Pastor Wang’s specific situation but in relation to all situations where we as Christians must pay the price for telling the truth and living lives worthy of the gospel.
We are working together jointly with Bob Fu and China Aid, our official China partner, to raise, transit, and distribute the funds necessary for legal defense, child care, emergency living necessities, and transportation related to the Early Rain Covenant Church raid.
- For legal defense, a estimated 25 attorneys will be needed at an estimated $4,000 USD per attorney (total $100,000 USD). Trials will happen in about six months, but there are immediate legal defense needs that begin now.
- For child care, some of those detained and criminally charged have young children for whom care arrangements must be made. The preliminary estimate for child care expenses is a total of $10,000 USD for the initial 6 month detention period.
- $10,000 is estimated to cover emergency living necessities for families of detained and surveilled church members, relocation needs, educational arrangements for impacted children of these detained (the church’s school is now shut down).
- $8,000 is estimated for fund transit and travel for consultation and strategic planning.
Thus, the total needed is $128,000 USD. There are immediate needs in each of the categories noted above, so we are hoping to send whatever funds we can before year’s end.
You know from my letter a few weeks ago that our own VOMK financial situation is the tightest it has been since we started the ministry, due to the additional expenses we took on this year for our China work, our balloon work, our moving, and our renovation. Still, Dr. Foley and I feel like the Lord is saying to us, “You say you are putting the persecuted church first. Will you really do that, even if you have nothing?” And we feel we must set our own organizational needs aside and reply, “Yes, Lord, we will do that.”
In the comment box on the giving page, just write "China" and we will direct it accordingly.
Certainly the needs of Early Rain Covenant Church will be ongoing (and perhaps increasing), so if you are not able to give until after January 1, we will make sure to keep the project open for you through New Horizons.
Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for your prayerful consideration. Here at VOMK, our staff, board members, North Korean UU and UT students, and local donors will be contributing all we can. We prayerfully ask you to consider doing the same. I know my brother Bob Fu from China Aid joins me in noting that this situation in China truly represents something new—not only on the part of the Chinese government in its brazen attack on the church in China, but more importantly in what God is doing as he uses the church in China, and in this hour, Pastor Wang Yi and his congregation, to share what Pastor Wang calls “a persecuted gospel” with China and the world.
Warmly in Christ,
Your Brother Eric Foley