On the morning of July 12, 2020, the congregation in the Country Garden of Shunde District, Foshan City, came to the church with joy to participate in the first worship service after the pandemic.
At the door of the meeting point, there was an electronic thermometer. The congregations could accurately take their temperature as long as they put their hands into the infrared range.
Before entering the church, some sisters reminded everyone to clean their hands with hand sanitizer, and some held a spray bottle containing disinfectant to sterilize the soles of their shoes. After doing this, they were allowed into the church.
Due to the pandemic, there are two services on Sunday. The congregations are seated separately. There are signs on the seats telling people where to sit. The benches that used to accommodate four people now are for two people, and they have to wear masks all the time.
The first service started at 9:00 am. Sister Yang Lizheng, head of Country Garden Church, officiated the service. Xie Enze, a fellow worker, gave the sermon, “Don't give up meeting together". He pointed out in the sermon that the reason for gathering is to get close to God, to hear the Word, and to learn the truth. If one stops gathering, there is a loss of passion for the gospel, a loss of humility, and people follow their own evil desires and things of the world.
After the gathering, everyone left the church in an orderly manner. The sisters immediately disinfected the church's public facilities in preparation for the second worship.
The residential property owners, who are Christians, have been living in Country Garden since 1996, according to Sister Xia Yalian, the founder of the church. At first, as there was no church in Beijiao town, to which Country Garden belonged, believers took buses to the church in the nearby town Daliang. As the number of believers increased, they set up a meeting point in the Country Garden. After several relocations, the property company in 2009 offered them the third floor of the Garden Club where they currently gather for free. At present, the church has a full-time preacher, more than 200 believers and 80 volunteers.
- Translated by Sophia Chen