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When I returned from West Africa earlier this week, and told a friend what we’d been able to do among the poor there, he said, “Do you realize that you would not have been able to do this even ten years ago?”

He was referring to the new educational technology that can provide seminary-level courses, translated and culturally contextualized in French, to West African indigenous leaders using cell phones, tablets, and computers–without access to the internet or cell service.

Do you realize that you would not have been able to do this even ten years ago?

I do realize how amazing this is and how this is causing far greater change in our world than the printing press. I’m humbled and honored to be a small part of what many are calling an educational revolution in how the next generation of church leaders will be trained–especially in the developing world where most Christians live today.

Thomas Friedman wrote, “Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.” We’ve known for a long time that it is desperately necessary to bring practical, seminary-level education to church leaders who have no access to it.

What is suddenly possible, due to recent advances in technology and education, is a global revolution in learning that is enabling almost universal access to high-quality education.

Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary. –Thomas Friedman

Pathway Learning is applying this same breakthrough in learning to help meet the needs of underserved church leaders around the world. For the first time in history we can successfully provide affordable, seminary education for church leaders in their language and contextualized to their culture.

Come Help Change the World

With your support, Pathway Learning is opening a door never before available to underserved church leaders–the opportunity to receive the training and tools they need to develop churches that transform lives and communities.

For most church leaders around the world, a high quality, seminary level education is out of reach. Pathway Learning has developed an innovative online and onsite learning platform that can bring practical, high-quality, seminary-level education to leaders where they live, in their language, and adapted to their culture.

Pathway Learning is opening a door never before available to underserved church leaders–the opportunity to receive the seminary-level training and tools they need to develop churches that transform lives and communities.

This year we launched new courses for underserved church leaders in West Africa, China (persecuted church), Japan, Western Europe (Italy), and North America. And we’re looking for partners to help us bring this solution to thousands more.

Come join us and help change the world.

For the King!

steve

PS: Your support makes all this possible. Together we can continue providing underserved church leaders the education and practical tools they need to transform lives and communities around the world in 2018. To donate, Click Here.

Chinese Government’s Harassment of Early Rain Covenant Church

Press Statement:

Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 15, 2018
We are deeply concerned by the Chinese government’s reported harassment of the Early Rain Covenant Church, in Chengdu, Sichuan Province after they planned to hold a memorial service on May 12, for the victims of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. The United States government joins the people of China in mourning the loss of tens of thousands of lives in the tragedy, and notes the value of memorializing their lives and calling for full accountability to prevent or mitigate future disasters. Regarding reports that Chinese authorities confiscated bibles, we call on China to uphold its international commitments to promote respect for religious freedom for all persons

Police arrive to arrest members of Early Rain Covenant Church (Facebook)

by June Cheng (Originally Posted on World Magazine)

Police officers in Chengdu, China, detained Pastor Wang Yi and 200 members of Early Rain Covenant Church over the weekend as they prepared to gather for a service commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake. All were released within 24 hours—but the arrests and crackdown on one of China’s most influential house churches raised alarms over the Xi Jinping regime’s growing efforts against Christians.

The magnitude 7.9 earthquake in 2008 killed about 87,600 people, left millions homeless, and became a “sensitive” topic after more than an estimated 5,000 schoolchildren died as shoddy classrooms collapsed on top of them during the quake. Many blamed corruption and mismanagement by local officials that led to the construction of substandard school buildings, as structures around the schools remained intact after the quake. In response, the Chinese government silenced critics, banned newspapers from mentioning the issue, and stifled unapproved commemorations—like Early Rain’s service.

After the May 12, 2008, earthquake, house churches from all parts of China sent teams to help in the relief effort, which began a movement of Christian charities, as organizations provided aid, rebuilt houses, and planted churches. Wang, who at the time was not yet a full-time pastor, helped coordinate church teams that poured into the region to help earthquake victims.

Wang points to the earthquake as the moment he decided to leave his job as a law professor and go into full-time ministry, helping to grow his house church into one of the most influential in the country. With his background in constitutional law, Wang publicly speaks out about the government’s illegal treatment of churches and is often detained on “sensitive” dates such as May 12 or June 4, the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Yet not all threats to the church come from the outside: Last year, the church underwent a difficult church split due to differences in personality and vision within the church leadership.

At 11 p.m. the night before the Saturday morning memorial service, local public security officers showed up at Wang’s doorstep to inform him that Early Rain’s service was illegal. Referring to the new “Regulations on Religious Affairs,” a police officer noted that Early Rain could not set up religious venues or hold religious actives without government permission.

“Then come tomorrow and do whatever you are going to do according to the laws,” Wang responded calmly, according to a cell phone video of the exchange recorded by his wife. “We will still meet tomorrow. Feel free to arrest us. … We will safeguard our legal rights according to the laws: applying for petitions and administrative review, and filing lawsuits.”

Immediately afterward, a plainclothes police officer showed up with a subpoena for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” for Wang’s posts online and brought him to the local police station for questioning. Police also detained Li Yingqiang, another church leader.

The next morning at 7:30, church members showed up to attend a prayer meeting at the church only to find dozens of police officers blocking the entrance of the office building where the church meets. According to Early Rain’s Facebook page, which updated the situation throughout the day, police carted 30 congregants off to the local station in police cars.

Yet congregants continued to arrive for the 9:30 a.m. memorial service. In total, police detained more than 200 church members, including children and the elderly. Police entered the church building, temporarily confiscating 15,600 Christian books and Bibles, as well as more than 900 CDs. As congregants stood outside the church singing “Amazing Grace,” police confiscated many of their phones to keep them from posting the scene online. Even the monitor of the Early Rain Facebook page—inaccessible inside China without a virtual private network—was taken away in handcuffs for sharing what was going on with the outside world.

By Saturday night, police had released Wang, Li, and nearly all of the church members. Wang sent out a message saying he had finished writing Sunday’s sermon, titled “The Way of the Cross, the Life of the Martyr,” at the police station. He praised his church members for their courage amid persecution: “I am grateful for you because we did not try to retreat, hide, or escape from the coming of this day, but we welcomed it with praise and zeal.”