STRANDED: BTJ Missionaries Unable to Travel Home to China
Due to the restrictions of travel in China, Back to Jerusalem Chinese missionaries are not able to return home.
BTJ missionaries serving in closed nations, in the Middle East and Asia, have attempted to return to China to update their passports, renew their foreign visa, arrange support, and visit their families. Unfortunately, it has been next to impossible.
About twenty BTJ missionaries are currently at a training base outside of China. After one year in training, they were supposed to return back to their churches in China, but it is currently not possible.
“There isn’t any way we can bring them home,” one of the BTJ staff members said in a recent text message. “There are no flights to China from [closed nation]. They have all been canceled. Even if we are able to get them a flight, they will have to be quarantined in a government facility for 14 days and will be charged ($50 USD) per day – per person. The underground house church leaders are concerned that they will be interrogated at immigration when they return to China. This could be dangerous to everybody.”
Back to Jerusalem missionaries are increasingly finding themselves stranded in nations outside of China without jobs, income, support, or proper visas. China is not making it easy for them to get back home. It is almost as if they do not want their citizens to return.
The Chinese government believes that a second wave of coronavirus will come from Chinese returning from abroad, so they are making it more difficult for the Chinese to travel back to China. According to one report, “Beijing is actively discouraging its 11 million Chinese diaspora from coming home.”
The message from the government to her people is simple. Do not come back to China. This is the exact opposite approach from nations like Singapore, Japan, Australia, and Canada, who have all urged their citizens abroad to come home.
The BTJ missionaries that are studying and serving abroad have a special hardship right now. They are rejected by their home nation and many feel rejected in the nations where they are.
It is a constant reminder that this world is not our home — we are all pilgrims passing through. Even though we carry a national passport, our true citizenship is in heaven.
Please keep these missionaries in your prayers today.