Well-known evangelist and bestselling author Francis Chan has returned to the U.S. after authorities in Hong Kong rejected his visa.
And even though the rejection came as a shock, he shares in this video that his main concern is the well-being of the house churches he and his family planted in Hong Kong since they relocated there in 2020.
"Last week, after Hong Kong officials rejected our visas, we [sons-in-law Justin and Peter and I] had to leave the country," Chan said. "We are now back in the U.S. and appealing the decision, however. We want to be in Hong Kong and hopefully, we can return there.
"Before we had to leave Hong Kong, Justin, Peter and I had seen the Lord plant three churches [house gatherings] with approximately 15-20 people attending each," Chan says. "We had each been leading one church in each of our homes, but then, suddenly we learned that we had to leave the country."
Chan says he prays new church leaders and members can gather in a secure place. But even in the "unexpected," Chan reminds those listening, "God is sovereign; He's in control."
The leaders he and his sons-in-law had been mentoring expressed initial trepidation over leading in Chan's absence. "I have faith in you," he emphasized. "I have peace in my heart because I know that the Holy Spirit will be working."
Throughout the video, Chan highlights the supernatural peace that has fallen upon everyone affected. He recalls a time of worship with his family in the midst of the impending move, when with a smile on his face, he said, "Guys, look at God's grace right now."
One of Chan's daughters and her husband ended up going to Los Angeles, while another daughter and her husband went to Ireland.
The region of Hong Kong in which the Chan family served is strictly ruled by the Chinese Communist Party, which Chan says may hinder his visa renewal application. As he waits, Chan speculates on what the Lord may need to use to teach him during this season away from their traditional ministry efforts.
He closes the video update with an encouragement to embody the presence of the Holy Spirit so others may see the Lord's goodness even in the midst of suffering.
"We just fight, and the most important thing is that people see that I really have peace, really have joy," Chan says. And he is encouraged to keep having faith in what the Lord is doing. "This is no surprise to God. And I just think, what a great opportunity we have."
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