DaTong Underground Seminary
two hours after I left, the police raided the seminary
The DaTong undergound seminary in Shanxi province was an example of Harmony China fulfilling the other arm of our mission statement—Spreading the Knowledge of Jesus. The underground church in China is vibrant and has been responsible for the greatest expansion of the Kingdom of God since the establishment of the church. But China’s underground church, as an indigenous movement, is usually poor. Harmony chose to partner with our brothers in the underground church – providing what they lacked which was quality teaching materials and financial support.
I will never forget one of my early trips to the underground seminary in Datong. The leaders smuggled me in with great care. I had to duck down in the car as we approached the area so that no one could see and report to the police, a foreigner arriving at this suspected Christian location. When the car stopped, I kept my head down and remained still until they gave me the all clear to jump out of the car and run into the compound.
It was an awesome and humbling experience meeting these Chinese young people who were dedicating their lives, and going through this training, to spread the Kingdom in China and to other countries. Two hours after I departed and as I was boarding my flight back to Beijing, the seminary was raided by the Public Security Bureau. Thank God they did not find an American there as that would have been bad for them—and for me.
Brother Han, one of the founders of the school, supported the seminary and his family by working in the coal mines of Shanxi province. I visited his home on multiple occasions. Three generations of family were living in this shelter-home the size of a one-car garage. Walls were sagging and plastic sheeting helped insulate from weather.
We were so moved by this that we raised money to buy him a brand new, modern apartment. My next trip to Shanxi we scheduled a meeting near the train station. Brother Han had no clue what we were up to when I reached into our bag and handed him $20,000 – the amount needed to purchase his family’s new apartment. That… was a cool moment and very much an example of what Jesus described as living “abundant life in Christ.” (John 10:10)