The date April 8, called "Resurrection Day" at Ningbo Centennial Church, was marked by the first reopening of the church after the Cultural Revolution.
On Monday, the Ningbo Christian Council and Three-Self Patriotic Movement (CCC&TSPM) held a series of activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the restoration of the church.
The participants included top CCC&TSPM leaders such as Rev. Wu Wei, president of the national CCC and Rev. Shan Weixiang, vice-president and general secretary of the CCC, as well as UBS China Partnership Deputy Director Daniel Loh.
During the anniversary service, Rev. Zhu Enshuo who had served in the church for 12 years and lives in Macau, preached that forty years ago unimaginable difficulties struck the church--it was shut down, Bibles were burned, and believers were scattered. The congregation resembled dry bones and lost hope, like the Israelites.
However, God had made the church alive again and the Chinese church encountered a great revival, he added. The situation was beyond the thoughts of the believers at the time. When the prophet Ezekiel was prophesying as he was commanded, the bones came together, bone to bone, tendons and flesh appeared on them, and skin covered them. Rev. Zhu urged the congregation to unite with each other and develop different kinds of ministries.
Nonetheless, the most important thing was the breath from Jehovah--in other words, the coming of the Holy Spirit. Then the church could become a vast army. The pastor encouraged believers to obtain the promised land and share the gospel with more people.
In addition, 39 local workers were ordained and received certificates.
Rev. Gao Jianwei, chairman of the Ningbo TSPM, shared that the church had opened nursing homes and been active in blood donation on Easter and active in its visitation ministry since its reopening.
Rev. Pan Xingwang, chairman of the Jiangsu TSPM, stated that the church should proclaim the message of faith in a society where many people suffer from psychological problems. The church should also make contributions to society and the state, as well as handle relationships with non-Christians, other religions, within the church, and with the government.
Having the theme, "40 Years of the Pillars of Cloud & Fire", the activities also included a theological seminar entitled, "Spiritual Tradition and Sinicization of Christianity", followed by an evening service of thanksgiving. A two-day retreat was held on April 6 and 7.
- Translated by Karen Luo