Shanxi Church Pays Respect to Xi Shengmo and Foreign Martyrs

By CCD contributor: Bai Hehua, April 27, 2018 07:04 AM

The tombstone for Xi Xiuzhen, a British missionary (CCD contributor: Bai Hehua)

Shanxi Linfen Church held a memorial service for Xi Shengmo on April 6, 2018. (CCD contributor: Bai Hehua)

The great great grandson of Xi Shengmo (middle) attended the memorial service for Xi.(CCD contributor: Bai Hehua)

On April 6, 2018, one day after the Chinese traditional tomb sweeping day, Shanxi Linfen Church led about 100 pastoral staff and key fellowship members to pay respects to Xi Shengmo, a Chinese Christian leader, and five female missionary martyrs.

They held a memorial service in Xi's hometown, Xizhang Village, Dadeng Township, Xiangfen County. Xi was once an opium addict and gave up opium smoking after converting to Christianity.

Elder Chen Li, head of Linfen Church, said that the priority work was to repair his tomb. It will try to set up a new tombstone and a small cemetery for Xi with the church in Xiangfen County.

Later they came to a gravesite where five missionary martyrs were buried in Daning County.

In 1879, English missionaries David Hill and S·B·Droke evangelized through the distribution of disaster relief supplies in Linfen. A villager from Daning County got money and a copy of the Gospel of Mark. A teacher named Qu Wanyi borrowed the copy and found it interesting. Then he asked other people to bring a copy of the Bible from Linfen. Moved by the holy Book, he went to Linfen to learn from David Hill and Droke and attended the church. In 1885, a church was founded in Daning County. Qu and Zhang became pastors and were in charge of church affairs while an American pastor-in-residence assisted in the evangelism ministry. Nine years later, the church purchased new land and was relocated. The congregation grew to more than 300.

Afterward, the church building was expanded and a chapel and rectory were built. A church school was established in 1904. Before China's 1949 "liberation," there were over 3,700 local believers in Daning County.

During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, three British missionaries, including Miss Frances Edith Nathan and Miss May Rose Nathan died. Miss Frances Edith Nathan was a virgin who sailed to China to preach the Gospel. In 1894, she evangelized in Daning and treated and gave medicine to save people. The church prospered. Six years later, when the Boxer Rebellion began, she fled to a mountain but was found. She was killed on July 19, 1900. Another missionary, whose Chinese name was Xi Xiuzhen, died with her.

Li Bingzhong, an Australian missionary, was also a virgin. She became a Christian at an early age and worked for the Lord zealously in Daning. The female preacher died of illness in March 1908.

A British missionary whose Chinese name was He Siyi achieved effective evangelism in Shanxi. She passed away at the age of 47 in Daning County.

A Dutch missionary family of four died for the Lord during the Boxer Rebellion. They lived in Beisang'e Village and preached there. It was said that they were resolved to face death after praying on their knees.  

- Translated by Karen Luo

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