To build their new church, a congregation in Jinsha New District, Qitaihe, Heilongjiang, collected 200,000 used bricks in four days of March. Afterward, they completed the side chapel. Before the Chinese New Year of 2018, the foundation of the main sanctuary was accomplished. Now more than 100 believers take turns constructing the sanctuary.
God prepares skilled craftsmen
Rev. Qin Shuping, the church's senior pastor, said that on April 10, 2018, the church held a mobilization ceremony for the construction after some months' suspension. Since then, about 100 people served at the construction site every day.
Rev. Qin said, "Just as God prepared skilled craftsmen for Moses to build the Tabernacle and Solomon to make a temple, He also prepared master artisans for us."
It is a miracle that there are always suitable believers to do each type of work needed in the construction. Their jobs range from civil and electrical engineers to forklift drivers, bricklayers, electricians, carpenters, rebar workers, physical workers, etc.
It is not easy to find all the craftsmen. The civil engineer is a non-Christian whose wife is a member of the church's choir. Mr. Li once ran a project that cost over 100 million yuan and rested at home due to cerebral infarction. He agreed to help the church voluntarily. He can speak more clearly and walk after the congregation prayed for him. He also honors Christ. Since then, he has been involved in the ministry.
Brother Shi, a bricklayer, works outside his hometown all year round and has experience in building side chapels. But Shi said he needed to complete his work in a half month before engaging in the church construction. Unexpectedly, he showed up in the construction site a few days later. In fact, there was a gas explosion in his workplace from which he and four workers led by him survived. Thankful for God's provision, he immediately took part in the construction.
In addition, some women cook in the kitchen and elderly believers pray for the construction. There are four regular prayers every day and a fasting prayer relay movement. "Our construction is driven by prayer. Before building the church, we prayed for it for four or five years. During the construction, there is also constant prayer." She said.
Never a lack of money
"We set our foot on the Jordon River by faith. We do everything we can do. Through it all, there is never a lack of money, but not much left." Rev. Qin said.
As of now, the construction has cost over 1.6 million yuan. The church's bank account seldom has a deposit that exceeds 100,000 yuan. This spring more than 300,000 yuan was needed to purchase rebar. After the church hosted two revival meetings, more than enough was collected.
Currently there is not enough to buy new bricks, but Rev. Qin believes that there will be a way. Equipment is borrowed from the members' companies, donated, or purchased at low prices. Furthermore, there is enough food for construction workers.
Building the temple in the hearts of believers
"People build the holy temple, while God builds people's lives through temple building!" she added.
During the construction, some non-Christians converted to Christianity, some seekers received baptism, and many believers experienced spiritual growth.
Now Mr. Li wants to be baptized; since a sister needs to look after her baby at home, her husband who replaces her to work in the site believes in Jesus; Brother Shi who followed Jesus twenty or thirty years ago was baptized during the project; Sister Zhang who is a theological student learned from the examples of elder believers.
Rev. Qin stated that the congregation has more time to get along with one another, different from the past when they left right away after services. Meanwhile, four young believers were admitted to Heilongjiang Theological Seminary.
Before building the new church, she took charge of three church construction outsourced to engineering teams. However, there were allways debts after completion. In hopes of no debt this time, she said the work done by the congregation has saved one-third of the total expense. She expects the principal part of the project to be finished by the end of 2018.
Covering an area of 6,588 square meters (1.62 acres), the new church will have a main sanctuary over 3,200 square meters (0.79 acres) in area, a side chapel of 800 square meters (0.19 acres), and a courtyard.
- Translated by Karen Luo