The Gospel prospers in Nanxian County in Yiyang, Hunan Province. During Spring Festival, I went there while visiting churches in Hunan. It was then I heard the story of Nanxian Church from Pastor Xiao Guochang, chairman and president of the CCC&TSPM of Nanxian County.
The church values visitation very much. Speaking of it, Xiao said that it was based on the need of the people, day or night. "We're always available. Sometimes, if I can't make it, I would send a lay worker," said Xiao.
I myself went with the team twice.
Visiting Sister Fang, 39, late stage lung cancer.
One night, Pastor Xiao, Sister Tang, and I went to visit a patient in a hospital of traditional Chinese medicine. Pastor Xiao first asked about Sister Fang's condition, then they sang hymns in the ward and Fang's husband also sang with them in a low voice.
Fang listened carefully with her eyes closed while sitting in her bed, then she gradually joined the group. Before they left, Pastor Xiao told Fang and her mother-in-law to have faith in God and attend the service during Spring Festival. As they were leaving, Fang's brother, who's not a Christian, shook hands with them in gratitude.
Visiting Brother Xiao, 65, already given up by the doctor.
Brother Xiao was in critical condition a few years ago and his family had already made arrangements for the funeral. However, after he became a Christian his condition improved.
Pastor Xiao and the lay workers sang a short hymn and led prayers for him one after another.
It was obvious that Xiao's family was not very keen on us, so it was a little awkward.
After the visit, Pastor Xiao told me that there would be more praises and prayers if the family members are believers and they have a separate ward. Otherwise, they would keep things short.
Brother Xiao attended church services on Feb. 16, but has now passed away.
Holding funeral for Brother Cao who died in his early 50s.
The next morning, we went to Yuanjiang City in Yiyang to hold a funeral for Brother Cao who died from cancer. On Feb. 18, Cao's wife and daughter came to church and gave grateful testimonies.
Sister Xia, who converted over two years ago, shared her experience visiting a depressed brother with their team on the way.
This brother was in his 30s. His family claimed he suffered from hysteria because he always sees people with hostility.
According to Xia, when they visited him, they treated him like a normal person and cared for him with sincere love. They even made soup for him. When he felt loved, he gradually opened up to everyone. Now he has basically recovered and loves worship and praise.
Visitation has been a tradition for Nanxian Church, said Pastor Xiao. When she was doing business on the street over 20 years ago, she would find opportunities to visit believers and build relationships with them.
"Christians should not only worship in the church, but go out to imitate Jesus' Word made into flesh and live out the Bible."
-Translated by Grace Hubl