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Thursday, July 07, 2022
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Remembering Fujian Puyi Church Elder Xu Yongzong
Elder Xu Yongzong (the fourth on the left) and a pastor held a poster to promote the construction of Fujian Theological seminary at an unknown date when the elder was alive.Elder Xu Yongzong (the fourth on the left) and a pastor held a poster to promote the construction of Fujian Theological seminary at an unknown date when the elder was alive.

This morning, Pastor Cai sent me a WeChat message saying, "Elder Xu Yongzong of Puyi Church has been in heaven for a month..." I couldn't believe my eyes.

The first impression that Elder Xu gave me was that he seemed to be a church doorman, a handyman, etc. I didn't know that he was the elder and director of the church until I planned the 120th-anniversary celebration of Puyi church with the pastor and deacons.

Elder Xu Yongzong was born in March 1952 and his ancestors were all Christians. In 1990, he led his whole family to Jesus Christ and had been serving in the church since then. In 1995, he was ordained as the deacon of Puyi Church. In 1997, he was elected as the vice director of the church committee. In 2005, he was elected as the director of the new church committee and ordained as the elder of the Puyi Church. He stepped down in 2021 when he reached retirement age, but he had been helping the new director much.

During his fifteen years of service as the director of the church administrative board for three consecutive terms, Puyi Church was awarded the honor of "2005 Model Religious Activity Site for Contributing to Building a Harmonious Society" by Zhangpu County Religious Affairs Bureau.

Elder Xu's education level was not very high, but he had the will to study and improve himself. He seized the opportunity of the sixth volunteer training course held by the City Christian Council in Puyi Church in 2008 to participate in the training and study, and he was selected as the monitor. After graduation, he was invited to serve as a volunteer preacher to assist the pastor in preparing the Sunday afternoon sermons and visiting ministries. Until 2018, he ended his preaching service according to the pastoral retirement system, but his ministry of visitation and caring for believers did not stop. While doing his own job at Puyi Church, he also cared about the rural church in the county and helped to build the rural churches.

During the nearly three years of the epidemic, in order to keep believers from leaving the church, he humbly learned from other churches and made Sunday sermon videos with simple photographic equipment together with the church pastor and preachers, making Puyi Church the first county-level Christian church in Zhangzhou that can conduct Sunday worship online.

Over the years, he worked diligently until he was unable to work due to illness. He went to heaven on April 20, 2022, at the age of seventy-one.

Puyi Church held a memorial service for him, and more than 500 believers saw him off.

 - Translated by Luke Liu

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