Chinese speakers and churches are scattered all around the world and Jason* and Jane* Lee have taken on the challenge of reaching them. Today they and their co-workers serve in twenty countries through TEE Movers for Chinese Church (TMCC).
When Pastor Jason Lee was expelled from China in 2012, he and his wife relocated to Taipei. There they began translating SEAN courses from the simplified Chinese characters used in China into the traditional characters used in countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and the USA. This meant the TEE materials could be used in many more countries and areas. Suddenly the Lees and the courses were in demand!
TMCC now has students scattered all over the world: in China, the USA, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Réunion, Italy, England, Spain, Ecuador, Australia, Korea, Vietnam and Laos.
The Lees are constantly on the move. They return to the USA and TMCC’s base in Santa Ana, California, twice a year to raise funds, but otherwise they are on the road training Group Leaders in seminaries, house churches, businessmen’s groups, registered churches and mission organisations.
Jason and Jane estimate that about 2,100 people have completed their Group Leader training programme over a period of eight years, and some 500 to 600 of them currently lead TEE courses. Jane credits their success to the handy and easy-to-use Leader’s Guide they have developed. Group Leaders feel better equipped and more confident when they are provided with some answers they can use as they lead.
Some of TMCC’s groups that run outside China are composed of students who come from the mainland. One of the benefits of training these students as TEE tutors is that after they graduate and return home to China, each to their own province, they start running their own TEE courses.
Previously Jason and Jane had never had the manpower to reach all these parts of China, nor was it legal! So although they had to leave China, they’ve still been able to have a huge impact on their homeland.
During their travels, they are constantly regaled with stories about the success of their Group Leader training and its impact.
For example, one of their partners is a well-known mission organisation that sends out many Chinese mission workers throughout the world. Having recently completed the Lees’ Group Leaders’ training, the person in charge said she would ensure that all their mission workers finished SEAN’s TEE pastoral training series, the ‘Life of Christ’, before they were sent out. Not only that, but member churches of their denomination would require people interested in training for full-time church ministry to complete the ‘Life of Christ’ series before going to study full-time at a residential seminary.
Another person that the Lees trained has been training TEE facilitators to train other facilitators so that now, in only three years, there are several hundred of them covering a huge area.
Some of the members of five groups that are meeting in three major cities are actually leaders from major sections of China’s huge underground church. Between them, these leaders could impact a staggering 10 million believers!
“We praise the Lord. God closed one door in China but in two years He opened doors in 17 other countries. If we were still in China all these things would probably never have happened that fast.”
Joanne Lane is an Australian freelance photojournalist. See www.visitedplanet.com
* Names have been changed.