We were very intentional with the tie in between Underground Coffee and the Underground Church. In many ways what we are doing is covert. Due to government persecution among the people we work with, we must be cautious. It is one of the reasons why you’ll never see faces of the people we directly work with (unless they live in another country at the time) or hear the real names of any of our partners. There must be safety for our local partners, but at the same time, the good news and stories of what God is doing in Asia needs to be told. So we will attempt to walk the tightrope of security and motivation, and if we must, we will err on the side of safety of our local partners. We will share stories in the coming months about what is happening in Asia.
A great read on the subject of the underground church is God is Red by Liao Yiwu (HarperOne, 2011). I’ve just finished reading it myself and hope to eventually go through it with our board of directors. The book is a series of interviews of people in Yunnan Province, China. Many of the interviews are with ethnic minorities and focus around the survival of Christianity throughout the persecution in China. If you ever want to understand more about the underground church and unreached peoples, this book is a great place to start.