Saturday, June 4, 2011

Move of God - Part 4

Climbing the stairs to our meeting place
Saints singing on the bus on our way to our destination

At the beach after the meeting Teaching in our little clearing

Vietnam Mission Trip - Part 4

While we were praying and praising God the leader of the church movement in Vietnam was called downstairs. As we finished praying for the people he came in and announced that the secret police were downstairs. They had come in and ordered them to stop the meeting. They threatened the hotel owners as well. The interpreter quickly took Pastor Robin and myself into another room in case they were coming upstairs. We had to remain in this other room for about half an hour behind a locked door. Another believer came in and said that the police wanted all the names of the people staying in this hotel. They had told them that they cannot gather and hold any meetings and then left.

Speaking to some of the leaders, I found out that this is what happens to them all the time. The secret police show up and close down their meetings. They used to just barge in the rooms and disrupt the meetings yelling and shouting. The saints would just sit there remaining calm and let them carry on. They would try to frighten and intimidate them. The saints just say we are not causing a disruption and sit there.

The police have learnt that they cannot intimidate the church, because the saints of God would just move to a new location and have church there. So the police have changed their tactics: They now show up at the hotel or hall where the meetings are held and threaten the owners or managers with harm if they don’t kick the saints out of their hotel or harm.

After 30 minutes we quickly went downstairs, a pickup truck drove up from the back and we were rushed in and driven quickly back to our hotel. The rest of the meeting for the day was cancelled.

Early the next morning the church boarded a bus and drove out to a Catholic Church compound. It is a tourist attraction as it has beautiful gardens and the Stations of the Cross on a hill, as you climb the stairs you come to each station. We climbed up the stairs until we got to a clearing and platform on the climb and we sat down in the leafy shade of the tress and started to have church. The weather was quite warm and the sun was beating down quite hard. Some sat on benches and some on the steps. We began to sing songs to the Lord. We were joined by hundreds of cicadas that filled the trees around us. After that we started our first teaching session with Pastor Robin. After a short break I started to teach. About 20 mins in, Pastor Robin whispered in my ear, finish in 5minutes. I finished and was wondering what was wrong. Did I say something wrong? Offend someone?

After we concluded Pastor Robin said: The police have found us! The senior pastor was down the hill talking to them. Apparently they now even know he was there too.” Let me go talk to them” : he joked. But we were both nervous> the saints split up. Some went up some down. We stood around chatting nervously for another 30 minutes. The rest of the sessions were cancelled and we were all going to leave.

We were invited to have lunch with the rest of the group and after a short drive we had a great lunch of fish, rice and cabbage. After that we were told the church is going to the beach in the afternoon, for some fun. I think they all need it!

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