Just before Covid shut down the Peoples Republic of China, Pastor Pan Yongguang and members of his congregation, known today as the Mayflower Church, made the difficult decision to leave their country. After 16 families from the congregation arrived in South Korea in 2019, relatives and other family members still in China faced increasing pressure from the communist government, especially when members of the church went public about the persecution they’d faced and their decision to leave China.
Listen as Pastor Pan shares about his life before he became and believer, how he came to faith in Christ, and how the Lord raised him up to be the pastor of the church he was baptized in. Before Pastor Pan considered personally following Christ, he knew people in China must pay a price for being a Christian. He says, “That’s a special part of Chinese Christians. They know they have to pay a price.”
The roots of the decision to leave China trace back to a day in 2018 when Pastor Pan had lunch with Pastor Wang Yi, who is now serving a nine-year sentence as a prisoner for Christ. Christian persecution was rising in China. Wang Yi knew he faced imprisonment for his faith; he challenged Pastor Pan to prepare himself to go to prison as well. Pan will share about the regular visits he received from police after Wang Yi’s arrest.
Pastor Pan and his church members had a decision to make. Should they leave China, or should they stay? Many had good jobs in China, but they worried about raising their children in Godly truth amidst communist pressure and indoctrination. After a year of discussions, knowing each Sunday could be their last one together, they felt unified in the decision to leave China.
Today, Pastor Pan and the Mayflower church are educating their children to follow Christ as they wait to receive refugee status from the United Nations and resettlement in a free nation. Pray for favor for them in the UN refugee application process. Pray also for family members still in China, who constantly face threats and intimidation.