“Unsafe, Flooded” Church Urgently Prays for a New Building
By Yi Yang, May 27, 2017 04:05 AM
There were massive puddles in the yard of Xinyang Christian Church of Tianshui City, Gansu Province after heavy rain on May 2. This brought hidden danger to the already unsafe church that urgently needed rebuilding.
"I heard the babbling of the river and suddenly I woke up, only to found that water was overflowing my bed," said brother Zhang of the church while talking to CCD about the incident.
The riverbank of the Weihe River is relatively low, so it is easy for rising water to overflow the church during the rainy season. At around 6 a.m. on a day in May, Guo heard the sound of the water in his sleep and saw it everywhere when he opened his eyes. He immediately ran to the nearby bridge. By then the water was already over one meter deep.
Church workers had to use a ladder from the end of the bridge to enter the church since there was no way in. When the water finally receded, there were over 10 inches of mud on the church floor. The church's believers worked together to clean it up.
Guo converted when his wife got sick and has been watching the church since its establishment in 1995. He is over 70 years old now and still lives in the church all year long.
Over the years, the number of believers of the church has increased from 70 to more than 200. The church also survived the Wenchuan earthquake, the strongest in the country since 1950. After that there were cracks in the walls and roof of the holy temple.
Moreover, the south gate of the church is only 4 meters from the riverbank and a little over 2 meters above the river's surface. Floodwaters from the Weihe River overflow to the church whenever there is heavy rain. It forced the brother who watches the church to evacuate in the middle of the night many times.
A higher road for a new bridge has also been made, leaving the east gate of the church only two meters from the side of the road.
The church yard is almost 10 meters below the road's surface, leaving the church in a pit and causing the rain to overflow the church every time.
However, rebuilding the unsafe church was hampered financially. The believers live in a mountainous area with economic conditions worse than most other places, and their donations are barely enough for the church's daily operation.
The church has sent out prayer letters for building a new church. So far, with the help of the believers and other churches in Tianshui City, they have raised over 200,000 RMB (US $29,107) toward a goal of two million RMB. Unfortunately, there is still a gap of over 1,700,000 RMB(US $248,000).
Translated by Grace Hubl
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