Since the churches in Baoji, China's northwestern Shaanxi Province, resumed in-person worship services on June 14, 67 churches in this city have successively resumed Sunday services.
On July 5, the first Communion service since worship services resumed was held at Jiajia Village, Guo Town, Chencang District. There are similarities and differences between rural Christian churches and urban churches. Congregations in the rural churches are with earthy fragrance. Their worship shows their humble, honest, true love, respect and praise of the Lord.
The predecessor of the church in Chencang District, Baoji was Guo Town Church, which was founded in 1943. The church began with a small courtyard that could only accommodate ten persons but is now a four-floor structure of brick and concrete built in a bungalow style. Nearly more than 300 believers can gather in the 700 square meter structure which includes space for dining and accommodation.
Sister Zhang, 82 years of old, testified that after she became a Christian, her whole family also came to the Lord. She said that before she believed in the Lord, she suffered from a variety of ailments, including migraines, severe insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, a weak heart, sore back and legs, and eye problems. Since she couldn’t care for her daughter she gave her youngest daughter to others to care for. After she believed in the Lord, she was cured of these diseases and reunited with her youngest daughter.
Sister Zhang added that has been a person of strong character all her life. She was baptized as a Christian in the fall of 1990. In the first 10 years, she worked as an accountant in a company. After becoming a Christian she worked as a deacon in a church for the first 10 years. In the next ten years she began a preaching ministry after going to the Baoji Huoquan Church for training at the age of 60. After she turned 70 she began to work in the church as a receptionist.
As a receptionist she welcomes people to the church. She gets a lot of exercise as she hosts people, showing them where to go and helping them find their way when they come to church. During the past 11 winters she has never caught a cold even though she hasn’t worn the usual warm, padded clothing made of cotton.
Sister Zhang keeps sharing the Gospel every day. She said that except for church time, she gets up at 4:30 every morning, prays at 5 o 'clock, and starts to read the Bible after washing her face. After 9:30, she will take a walk to the park near her home for exercise. During this period, if there is an opportunity to talk to others, she will tell them how her physical illnesses improved after she believed in the Lord. Finally, she will teach others the Bible and the peace and blessings that they too can receive from believing in Jesus.
In the past 31 years, she estimates that she has preached the Gospel to more than 2,000 people. Even though the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible for people to go to church, and unable to get out of the house, she preached the Gospel to others on the phone. Every now and then, she calls the children of relatives in distant places, and tells them the blessings and peace of Jesus.
In the past few weeks she invited her grandson to attend church where he listened to the sermon and believed in Jesus.
- Translated by Sophia Chen