Almost 30 churches had various degrees of damage due to an explosion in Xiangshui County, Yancheng, Jiangsu Province. Christians were unable to gather at the ones that were badly damaged. Many Christians volunteered to go to hospitals and help the victims.
The blast occurred at the Tianjiayi Chemical Company in Xiangshui County, Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, at 2:48 pm on March 21, 2019. During a second press conference at the rescue headquarters it was revealed that 64 people had died, and, of those being treated for injuries, 21 were in critical situation and 73 were seriously injured in the accident.
Gospel Times, a Chinese Christian newspaper, learned from the Xiangshui County CCC & TSPM that volunteers, joined by Christians, went to hospitals and helped the victims. Some Christians stayed at the hospitals till 11 pm on March 21, and went again the next morning at 5 am. They donated their blood, packed items and sent food. Some female Christians brought bread and chicken soup they had cooked to the wounded in the hospitals.
Staff from Wangshang Church went to visit injured Christians, told them that God had shown mercy to them and that the government would deal with matters properly.
All the churches in Xiangshui prayed for the county's situation. Many Christians posted their prayers on WeChat, the most used on-line social platform in China, hoping that God would have mercy on the wounded, and show kindness to rescuers and medical workers. One of the prayers was, 'Thank God! May God help the people of Xiangshui. May God comfort families of those injured. Oh, Lord, remember everyone who has suffered in the explosion. May God take care of everyone. Amen!'
The church has identified the practical situation. Too many residences were damaged, thus repairing them should be a priority for the churches. Christians have stopped gathering now. One church in a town needed to be rebuilt. Others with doors, windows and suspended ceilings that had been damaged have been repaired.
Now, churches with serious damage have stopped gatherings until the repairs are completed and until they are deemed safe places.
-Translated by Lin Changfeng