Officials from China’s Public Security Bureau (PSB) asked a missionary couple to leave the country after they were caught attending a house-church service on Aug. 31. At the beginning of the meeting, several PSB officers walked to the front and announced, “We know there are some foreigners in the church tonight, and it is illegal for any foreigner to do any religious activities in the Chinese church.” They ordered everyone to leave the building and detained the missionary couple, who are ethnic Chinese but hold U.S. passports. They had served in China for seven years, and officials ordered them to leave within 10 days. “They did great mission work in China teaching the Bible and training disciples,” a VOM contact wrote. “They don’t know what to do next.” Pray for this couple as well as the church they are leaving behind.
Sri Lanka—Pastor and Wife Assaulted by Mob Source: VOM Contacts, World Evangelical Alliance
A pastor and his wife were attacked recently in Deniyaya, Sri Lanka, while returning from a church member’s home. A mob of about 40 men, along with five Buddhist monks and a local government authority, approached the pastor and his wife, shouting, “Attack them … kill them!” The pastor was assaulted and accused of spreading Christianity in the area. He and his wife were then dragged to the home of the woman they had just visited, where the mob shouted at the woman and demanded to know how much she was paid to convert to Christianity. She replied that she had become a Christian based on conviction and was not paid to do so. The pastor was beaten again, but he and his wife managed to escape. He suffered injuries to his legs and body. Pray that the pastor’s attackers will find Christ, and pray for the healing and restoration of the pastor and his wife.
Jordan—Missionary Murdered in Irbid Sources: International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, VOM Contacts
A veteran school teacher was stabbed to death recently in Irbid, Jordan, in what police are calling a crime motivated by robbery. Police arrested a young Jordanian man in connection with the murder of 55-year-old Cheryll Harvey, of Sudan, Texas, who had taught English in Jordan for 24 years. Although authorities claim the motive was robbery, nothing was taken from the apartment where she was murdered. Cheryll founded an English-language center in Irbid 10 years ago that served 300 to 400 college students each semester. She was known as someone dedicated to her work, to her students and to living out the love of Jesus to her Jordanian friends. She is survived by two brothers. A statement from Southern Baptist officials said, “We pray her witness continues to bear much fruit.” Pray for her family and her friends in Jordan as they grieve her loss, and thank God for Cheryll’s life of service.
Pray for 30 to 40 pastors and leaders who are studying in an underground Bible school. They are using VOM materials to gain solid, practical Biblical training for work among persecuted believers in Bhutan.