On the morning of September 13, in the Sunday service of the central Shahe Church in Anshan, in China’s coastal-northeastern Liaoning Province, Pastor Wang Guoyang, gave a sermon entitled, "The Lord has helped us until now," based on Ezra 5-6. “Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God”, he used this scripture to explain that the temple God destroyed will be restored by Him.
I believe that the churches in China would experience revival, through the exchanges with Elder Wang Defa, Pastor Wang, and Sister Ma who was in charge of a team (community group).
Shahe Church always had a fine tradition of respecting the elderly with the love of the Lord. From the chief shepherd to all the pastors, they are very humble and easy-going. They maintained contact and a loving exchange with believers. When there were difficulties, they would go and provide help at any time.
The author once participated in a special gathering for believers over seventy years old. They received souvenirs with flowers and sat in the front row of the church. Church elders, pastors, and other colleagues sent fruits and snacks to each of them with greetings.
Colleagues of the Shahe Church took the initiative to visit the believers who were suffering from illness or had economic difficulties. Especially every year before and after the spring festival, they visited and showed concern in a planned way, led by the chief shepherd. At the same time, they also participated in social welfare activities.
Elder Wang said that since Shahe Church resumed services on August 23, the number of believers attending meetings and the contributions the church received have not decreased. The believers are still eager to be back in the church.
After the Sunday service, the author talked with Sister Ma. She had a Christian family and her old father was also a believer who died at the age of 85. After retiring, she began to serve in memorial classes and service groups of the church. Now she is a leader of a team (community group) with more than 200 people in Lishan. She was in charge of the temperature measurement ministry at the church service, and she arrives at the church at around 5 o'clock in the morning to prepare for the day. She said that elders and pastors also came early just like her as the work of pandemic prevention was important. Like other fellow workers, she hurriedly went to the market to buy food after the morning service. And after finishing her housework, she went to the church to serve in the afternoon.
After graduating from seminary, Pastor Wang came to Anshan from Changchun, Jilin Province, because his wife who was also a pastor in the church. For more than one year, he served in Shahe Church and also gave sermons in other churches according to the arrangements of the municipal CC&TSPM. I asked him what he thought about being a pastor in Anshan. He smiled and said this was a strange land. But he also told me that Elder Wang, other pastors and even the believers were very kind to him. The elderly persons cared about him as a child, and he had a good salary. He felt relaxed and was at ease in this church. He said he wanted to give himself wholeheartedly to the ministry and be a good pastor, and he desired to obey God and help the church in its future development.
While talking about young believers in the church, Pastor Wang said that the overall trend was positive. As the church Just resumed its gatherings after the coronavirus pandemic, they still needed time to get used to the changes. At present, there is still a gap compared with the situation before the pandemic. Praying for God's guidance, the pastors hope to do well in their ministry, encourage others, and generate enthusiasm for the church.
- Translated by Abigail Wu