“I have great concern for small churches, especially rural churches, and in order to help them, I set up the Christian second-hand unused equipment exchange WeChat group where people could share information with each other about their second-hand equipment such as audio and video equipment, tables and chairs and pulpits, etc. and help each other through them, " said Liu Canwei, a young Christian in Liaoning Province while adjusting audio equipment for a county-level church.
The WeChat group named "Christian Free Secondhand Resource Group" was set up in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province by Brother Liu Canwei, who has studied theology at Northeast Theological Seminary for four years and has worked for both the seminary and church. Sharing his original motivation to establish the group, Liu said, "I did some part-time job when I started serving God in the ministry. During that time, I helped maintain and repair audio equipment and teach tuning for some churches for free, through which I not only lived out my love but also accumulated some tuning experience. After visiting some churches, I have found that churches have problems concerning their audio equipment, mainly because of their financial difficulties."
The first is that some churches lack money to buy new audio equipment to replace their old and broken ones, though the sound of the old equipment is worse than the speaker of those who set up stalls in the market; the second is they lack talented people who know how to use the audio equipment, even if they can afford to buy a set of audio equipment; the third is that some churches use their money unwisely because they do not know how to choose good audio and blindly believe that expensive equipment will guarantee good quality; the fourth is the error of those controlling the church’s mixer since tuning is necessary in order for the audience to hear clearly.
Liu Chanwei also discovered a hardware problem plaguing churches: some of the "big churches" in the city have put away some of the equipment in the warehouse that still has value and can be used, while some of the "small churches" and rural churches that lack money are using broken equipment. Their chairs are falling apart and pulpits are worn out; some electronic organ keys are not working and the audio and video equipment is rudimentary; and their walls are peeling. Brother Liu then started thinking about how to better use these second-hand equipment and materials by creating a platform to connect big churches to small ones.
Then, Brother Liu established a WeChat group through the Internet, which is composed of nearly 100 ministers and members from more than 40 churches mainly located in the northeastern provinces. He set up the group hoping that the rich churches can help the poor churches with their unused materials and equipment including chairs, pews, pulpits, pianos, cars, old audio equipment, audio and video equipment, lamps, etc., as long as they are not obsolete, still usable, or can continue to be used after repairing. The owner of these equipment can donate them or sell them to a needy church at a low price.
The platform works as the bridge between the "supplying and demanding" sides who can share their needs for free in the group. At the same time, Brother Liu is providing consultation and technical advice and services on the installation, adjustment, and maintenance of audio and video equipment in the church. Although this group has not been established for a long time, there are already unused resources such as LED displays, floors, and lamps provided by its members.
- Translated by Alvin Zhou