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 86 - Dong Yu Lan's Disregard of the Churches
in Paraguay in the Spread of His Work

There is no need to document the spread of Dong Yu Lan's work in South America, since he claims the entire continent as the domain for his work (see note 75). What is particularly noteworthy is the aggressiveness of Brother Dong's work in seeking to subvert properly standing local churches in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru (see notes 91, 92, and 121).

One striking example of the way his work disrespects the local leadership and other workers is his treatment of the church in Asunción, Paraguay. On August 1, 2004, a fire in the Ycuá Bolaños Botánico Supermarket killed over four hundred people. This supermarket is near the Asunción Botanical Gardens in a district known as Santísima Trinidad. Santisima Trinidad is a territorial subdivision of Asunción. " On August 2, 2004, speaking in Foz do Iguaçu, a Brazilian city that borders Paraguay, Brother Dong himself referred to the fire as being in Asunción and blamed the tragedy on the condition of the church in Asunción. He used the tragedy to justify sending his colporteurs to Asunción, not for the increase of the church in Asunción, but to raise up a church in Luque, a suburb of Asunción. Brother Dong's fellowship was put into an e-mail by Ezra Ma (E-mail from Ezra Ma, August 4, 2004). Among other things, Ezra reported that Brother Dong said:

  • " In Asunción a big supermarket burned up and 300 people died. If the church is normal, these things will not happen."
  • " The colporteurs have a big burden to go into the city of Asunción."
  • " But now this is a sign from the Lord: we are going to Asunción."
  • " We are going to Asunción to raise up family groups, and we will bring them to Luque to break bread, until the Lord frees us totally to break the bread in Asunción. He will not delay because we bring life, not knowledge in the mind, but life."

Brother Dong's speaking clearly shows his intention to raise up a competing fellowship to ultimately displace the church in Asunción. When they received a copy of Ezra Ma's account, the leading brothers in Asunción wrote to Brother Dong personally seeking clarification (Letter to Dong Yu Lan from the church in Asunción, September 5, 2004). Brother Dong himself did not reply, but one of his co-workers did. In his response he affirmed " that the words written in the E-mail of brother Ezra, in fact were the result of a fellowship that happened in Foz de Iguaçu." His letter also included excerpts from Brother Dong's speaking in Foz de Iguaçu describing the fire as being " in Asunción." (Letter from Ildeu Rodrigues dos Santos to the church in Asunción, October 17, 2004). All of these points are corroborated in a letter from 17 responsible brothers in the churches in Paraguay.

Click on the icon at right to view the document. 

In a meeting with a group of co-workers following the International Chinese-speaking Conference in February 2008, Brother Dong denied that he spoke concerning a fire in Asunción:

You said yesterday that I spoke something concerning Asunción, Paraguay, but that fire did not take place in Asunción so it's impossible for me to have said that.

Later in the same meeting he reiterated this claim:

Andrew Yu: A report came to us that Dong Yu Lan or a Brazilian worker said that the fire in Asunción came because of rebellion. [The report to which Andrew refers is a letter from brothers in Paraguay dated August 19, 2004. This letter included excerpts from Ezra Ma's account of Brother Dong's speaking.]

Dong Yu Lan: That's impossible, because it happened in another city.

This is a clear case in which Brother Dong sought a pretext to insert his own workers to raise up a rival testimony without regard to keeping the oneness of the Body. It is also clear that Brother Dong then directly lied to the co-workers in fellowship in an attempt to deflect any scrutiny of his divisive actions.

Even more troubling is that he misrepresents the incident in later speaking to the saints in South America. For example, in Message 2 of a conference in Posadas, Chile, on December 7, 2008, Brother Dong said:

I went to the United States and saw a group of workers who considered the work to be more important than life. They said that the truth is the most important thing. Later, some of us brothers went to the United States and the brothers asked us, what was more important the work or life? They thought and spoke that the first thing should be the work. Why? There is a city right next to Asunción, Paraguay. What is its name? The one where fire took place? Luque. Luque. The brothers went there and preached the gospel. Then some co-workers said, "You should not have gone there and preached the gospel, because this region belongs to Asunción. You cannot just come and preach the gospel." I told them that gospel should be the priority. There is an opportunity for the gospel. Then they asked why we did not inform the church in Asunción. I said that I did not know if the brothers had informed the church in Asunción or not.

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This speaking is misleading in several respects:

  • Brother Dong indicates that the fire happened in Luque. It did not.
  • Brother Dong implies that the preaching of the gospel after the fire was initiated by brothers from Luque. It was not. It was carried out based on his speaking at Foz do Iguaçu on August 2, 2004.
  • Brother Dong claims that the North American brothers' concern was with work versus life when actually what they questioned was whether Brother Dong was practicing the truth related to how he carries out his work. Brother Dong insists on being consulted when the co-workers visit places that he sees as under his authority, but when it suits his purposes, he carries out work independently of established churches and the co-workers caring for those churches.
  • Brother Dong claims that he " did not know if the brothers had informed the church in Asunción or not," when in fact the brothers in responsibility in the church had written to him of their dismay at learning secondhand of his intention to send his workers there to carry out an independent work.

In message 2 of an international conference Bariloche, Argentina, on May 3, 2009, Brother Dong boasted of the success of his work in Paraguay:

There are a group of people who are always oppressing us, forcing us to listen to them. They keep suppressing us. Thank and praise the Lord. The more they suppress us, the more our gospel goes out. They did not let us preach the gospel in Paraguay, but now Paraguay is full of churches and the gospel.

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This statement clearly exposes the spirit of rivalry behind Brother Dong's work.


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