Rom. 16:17 - Now I exhort you, brothers, to mark those who make divisions and causes of stumbling contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and turn away from them.

2 Tim. 2:25 - In meekness correcting those who oppose, if perhaps God may give them repentance unto the full knowledge of the truth.

Note 23 - Brother Dong and His Co-workers Hindering the Common Fellowship


Letter of warning from leading brothers in the churches in Colombia, March 29, 2009:

Through the fellowship of the churches, we became burdened to start the 96 Lessons training in Colombia. Some associated with Brother Dong's work initially objected both to the use of the 96 Lessons training materials and to the participation of the brothers from North America. According to the truth they had no jurisdiction over the churches, and they had no grounds to hinder the fellowship between the brothers from North America and the churches here.

Suppose the saints in the church here [in Los Angeles] feel the need to invite a worker from Texas. They have the full liberty to invite him. If they feel the need to invite another one from Europe, another one from Africa, and another one from South America, they have the full liberty to do so. This is the proper way for us to practice. ( The Life and Way for the Practice of the Church Life , p. 114)

Nevertheless, through our fellowship with the co-workers we delayed beginning the 96 Lessons training for seven years in the hope that Brother Dong's followers could realize the value of maintaining a broader fellowship with the co-workers in the Lord's recovery. Eventually, however, Brother Dong's supporters insisted that the training could not start in Cali unless the co-workers from North America issued a written official endorsement of Dong Yu Lan's work. To our knowledge, this demand was unprecedented. It betrays an organizational and hierarchical concept that is uncharacteristic of the work in the Lord's recovery; the co-workers do not serve in an official capacity but in the organic fellowship of the Body of Christ. To hold a training ransom to such a demand is absolutely improper; it puts personal interests above the Lord's interest. The objections and demands which hindered the start of the 96 Lessons training in Cali demonstrate that Brother Dong's work had already departed from the truth and was a factor of division in Colombia. The 96 Lessons training, though long delayed, has proven to be very beneficial to the saints in Colombia who are participating in it and has provided fresh impetus to the Lord's move among us.

Brother Dong's followers have used a variety of improper pretexts for preventing saints in Colombia from receiving the general ministry in the Lord's recovery. When the co-workers issued the booklet Publication Work in the Lord's Recovery, many supporters of Dong Yu Lan opposed it and forbade its distribution. In some places saints were openly criticized for using The Holy Word for Morning Revival. In 2006, the church in Cali scheduled a conference with Benson Phillips and invited saints throughout Colombia to come. Some who support Dong Yu Lan's work opposed this conference and deterred many saints from attending it. Those who did attend were in many cases subsequently ostracized. Official letters excluding saints from the fellowship of the churches have been issued by followers of Brother Dong for these and other similar "offenses." In some cases, the alleged misconduct cited in the letters did not happen; in others, the behavior in question was greatly exaggerated or had already been addressed.

The fundamental problem that has troubled the churches in Colombia is that Brother Dong's ministry is carrying out a separate work in rivalry with the general ministry in the Lord's recovery. Brother Dong has often accused others of being ambitious to carry out a work in South America, but in fact it is Brother Dong and his co-workers who are ambitious to have an isolated, private sphere for their work. Thus, they seek to exclude all others and to make the domain of their work their personal boast. Their rival work has sown discord in Colombia and has hindered the churches' participation in the universal fellowship of the Body of Christ.

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[Note: Although Benson Phillips was initially invited to the conference in Cali in 2006, it was ultimately Paul Hon, Gary Kaiser, and Sherman Robertson who went.]

A letter from fourteen churches in Colombia to the co-workers in the Lord's recovery, January 10, 2005:

A little over three years ago a brother from Cali had the chance to talk with brother Paul Hon concerning the 96 lessons training. During that time we have been not only praying, but also we've had a lot fellowship concerning the desire we have that this training can be done in Colombia, with those churches and brothers that are interested in doing so. Taking advantage of the opportunity, we made a meeting with the elders of the different localities, during the blending meeting, and again we had fellowship concerning the 96 lessons training. Our desire is to have the training. We are aware of the need we have to be perfected under the ministry of the age, for the benefit of our localities and the Body of Christ.

Letter from Paul Hon to the co-workers, April 12, 2005:

Fourteen churches including Cali in Columbia have invited us to give them the 96-lesson training again. This is a grave matter and may open up more possibilities for suspicion and accusation; therefore, we do not want to proceed without thorough fellowship with you brothers. We have waited three years. Should we continue to wait or should we take care of the desire of the dear saints in these fourteen churches for the sake of the Body of Christ. Please fellowship and give us your feeling.

Letter from the responsible brothers of the church in Cali, Colombia, October 18, 2007:

On many occasions the church in Cali tried to invite the co-workers from the USA, but [brothers] who follow Brother Dong Yu Lan's leadership and are his assigned co-workers for Colombia, did not approve. They argued that Brother Lee instructed Brother Dong not to invite co-workers to visit the churches in South America. Brother Dong himself made the same claim in a conference in Bogotá, Colombia, in April 2005.

Letter from the responsible brothers of the church in Cali, Colombia, October 18, 2007:

[Brother Dong's co-workers] discouraged the saints from participating in conferences held in Cali, where co-workers from the USA and other countries gave messages in line with the ministry of Brothers Nee and Lee. Brother Dong's co-workers also have opposed the possibility of having the 96 Lessons Training and, in fact, have prevented it from being carried out until this day. These actions have caused great confusion among all the saints.

Interview with Jorge Farias, January 10, 2008:

The first conference [with the North American co-workers] in South America was in Cali in 2006. Prior to the conference Dong Yu Lan's workers told the elders in the localities not to participate in it.


Letter from Julio Hinostroza, October 30, 2007:

The church in Chiclayo [Peru] requested the visitation of blended co-workers to minister the word in a conference scheduled for December 2005. Brothers Sterling Byassee and Walter Ortiz were planning to join the church in Chiclayo for the conference. Brother Sterling wrote an e-mail to inform Ezra Ma and, through him, Brother Dong, of the impending visitation. The co-workers in South America, through the e-mail of Ezra Ma, sent a harsh response to Brother Sterling later that same day. In their response they accused Brother Andrés Capillo of leading a movement of division, which included saints in Trujillo and Chiclayo. In that same e-mail, the co-workers in South America insisted that the visitation of Brothers Sterling and Walter would "strengthen the dissenting ones" and give the saints in South America the impression that the co-workers in the United States no longer consider the churches in South America to be genuine churches in the Lord's recovery. This was in direct contradiction of the face-to-face fellowship that Brother Ezra had with Brother Sterling and me in Anaheim earlier that year. At that time Brother Ezra told us that it was not a problem to invite brothers from North America to Chiclayo, and he encouraged us to fellowship the matter with Brother Dong.

E-mail from Ezra Ma to Sterling Byassee, December 8, 2005:

We the co-workers in South America repudiate your visit to Peru because it will only cause more division in Peru and in other countries...

Therefore we the co-workers in South America do not agree with your coming to Peru and will hold you responsible for any consequences your coming may cause.

E-mail from Sterling Byassee to Ezra Ma, December 18, 2005:

As you know, at the last training where we were together, brother Julio Hinostroza from Chiclayo asked you one simple, straightforward question, which was: "Is there any problem to invite the coworkers to come to share the Word in Chiclayo?" Your answer was "NO." There was no mention to him or to me that Chiclayo was not considered any longer to be a church, but a division. If it was considered to be a division in the Lord's recovery, there would be no need to talk about having a conference there, rather, there would be the need to talk about why the division happened, and what we could do to help the situation.

Letter from Walter Ortiz, October 29, 2007:

In January of 2003, Brother Ron Kangas had arranged to visit the churches in Bolivia and was to be accompanied by Ezra Ma. I went along to help translate and to visit the churches again. At this time, the saints in Santa Cruz were very open to the fellowship. The second city we visited was Cochabamba. There Ezra used the opportunity to speak to me personally to let me know that in Lima, Peru, Brother Dong had asked the churches in Peru not to receive me. I was not allowed to be there. I was excommunicated from Peru.

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Letter from Walter Ortiz, October 29, 2007:

While visiting some of the churches [in Argentina] during the week of the trip [in 2002], we discovered that an e-mail was sent to all the churches in Argentina, from a brother named Mario, a doctor, charging the churches not to receive me. I remember that it read: Do not receive Brother Walter Ortiz because he has another orientation and may cause confusion. Of course, Eduardo realized that this was not right, and he planned to let Brother Dong know about this matter so that he could correct it. He was expecting Brother Dong to correct the situation at the International Training for Elders and Responsible Ones (ITERO) that was going to be held in Brazil that fall. When he got there, he was surprised that Brother Dong did not allow him to enter into the South American co-workers' meetings, alleging that Brother Eduardo was not one soul with him.

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Letter from Eduardo Kalaidjian, October 24, 2007:

In 2002, after returning from a young people's conference to their cities, my daughter, her husband, and two young people from the church in Mendoza had an accident in which the two young people and my daughter's husband died. When the blended brothers found out about it, they sent Brother Walter Ortiz to Buenos Aires. Wanting to make the most of his visit and knowing that he was in charge of the Spanish radio program, we scheduled visits to some of the churches in order to let them know about the program so that they could be edified and the word of the ministry could be propagated. We were welcomed by some of the localities, but others were influenced by the brothers in Brazil and rejected our visit, saying that they were faithful followers of Brother Dong Yu Lan's ministry and wouldn't accept any other teaching.


A group of churches in Brazil in the Vale do Paraiba region of state of Sâo Paulo began to practice gathering for blending on a monthly basis. When brothers from the participating localities asked one of the leading ones in Guaratinguetá if they could gather in that city, brother Raphael de Souza Castro, a leading brother in the church there, brought the matter in fellowship to another leading one, a brother loyal to Brother Dong. This brother responded that he would need to seek the permission of the brothers in the work. Two days later he informed Brother Raphael that it was not possible because the brothers who had initiated the request were not following Brother Dong. This refusal made following Brother Dong's ministry the basis for having fellowship among the churches, as the following e-mail response from the leading brother following Brother Dong indicates:

Raphael, Jesus is our Lord. I talked with the brothers from the work about the meeting on March 9 and they do not know anything about it as you and the brothers from Lorena do not share in the ministry that the Lord has given to Brother Dong and his co-workers, do not enjoy the Daily Food, and do not participate in the conferences at the Estancia or the regional conferences about the spreading. What I mean is that IN PRACTICE WE ARE NOT ONE, we are not speaking the same language, so we cannot participate in this meeting as it will create confusion in the church because this fellowship is not directed by the ministry that we are enjoying. So it would be more proper if you do this meeting where all share what you are enjoying and living. This is our position. If you want to talk about it, I am available. (E-mail from Odair to Raphael de Souza Castro, February 26, 2008)

Concerned about this response and the unscriptural practice of seeking extra-local permission for the church to participate in such a conference with other genuine local churches, Brother Raphael wrote a letter to Dong Yu Lan referencing the above e-mail:

The email above makes it clear that, although the four churches receive a ministry which is received by many churches on the earth, because they do not closely follow your ministry the church in Guaratingueta cannot fellowship with them.

This stand makes the alignment with a ministry a factor of oneness for the churches in the Body and we know that this is wrong according to the Bible. Besides this, Brother Dong, your own participation in the last conference in Anaheim testifies that the ministry that those four churches are seeking to follow is positive. Why then should the work in this region oppose the blending of the churches that receive ministry 'X' with others aligned to the ministry 'Y'? I understand that both should be the same ministry, and believe that you will confirm my understanding.

For this reason, Brother Dong, I would like to ask you to help me in this matter, to tell the brothers who serve in the work in this region to stop any opposition to the churches or saints that want to enjoy the ministry with which you have declared yourself to be one, or, on the contrary, if I understand your position wrongly concerning the ministry, please clarify to me exactly what your position is. (Letter from Raphael de Souza Castro to Dong Yu Lan, March 2, 2008)

Brother Raphael did not receive any response from Brother Dong or his co-workers. Rather he received a follow-up e-mail from the other leading brother in Guarantinguetá telling him:

Raphael, Brother Roderick, Brother Dong's coworker, phoned to say that they will not answer your letter. (E-mail from Odair to Raphael Castro, March 20, 2008)

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