The visitation ministry is just one of dozens of ministries in the Beijing Chongwenmen Church, but it is an integral part of the church's work, though it seems a less conspicuous cell unit of the church.
These ordinary people release Jesus' love through the ministry. For years, the ministry has been acting as an invisible soldier of the church, involved in visitation, hospice care, bazaars, distributing gifts on holidays, providing communion bread and wine to people unable to come to church, and prayer.
The ministry often visits people directly assigned by the church and caught in emergencies. Scattered around Beijing, the members have to overcome difficulties and setbacks to visit patients since this work requires them to be present during regular schedules and also in time of need.
The staff includes elderly brothers and sisters who have served for years as well as new volunteers. With a heart of loving others as themselves, they visit patients in hospitals under the leadership of the pastor and many times reach patients in critical conditions.
After having served in the church for decades, an older Christian named L was confined to bed because of illness and completely looked after by her husband. Sister S sent communion bread and wine to her every month.
On the first day of the lunar year 2019, Sister S was informed that L suddenly passed away. Along with her Christian husband, S gave of her time when they should have celebrated the Chinese New Year with their family to make arrangements for her funeral and memorial service. After that, the daughter of L expressed gratitude to the church and told everyone that she wanted to believe in Jesus whom her mother had trusted in.
Many couples like S and her husband have kept doing the ministry for quite a number of years.
The ministry has a smaller, six-person cell unit called a "Small Prayer Group".
Even though it is led by a mature sister, dissension, hyper-criticism, and mutual exclusion often occurred among the members. One of the sisters once intended to leave the group. Although the number of the participants varied each time, the faith of every member grew bigger and bigger.
Suffering from different diseases, Sister Z who lives far away from the church committed her health, her children and her grandchildren to God every time. An amazing thing happened. Her mother-in-law came to join the prayer and then accepted Jesus as her Lord.
Two sisters who were at loggerheads reconciled after repenting and putting the Lord's work as the first priority.
The visitation ministry has also conducted annual spring and autumn bazaars for eight or nine years. A bazaar is held on Sundays and lasts eight or nine Sundays. The donations have been given to poor students and dropouts. The average number of those who volunteer to work for bazaars reaches more than 100.
Brother Q who heads up bazaars along with his wife lead the volunteers to receive donated goods, deliver them from storage, and sell them. The donated articles include new clothes, gently used electrical appliances, works of art, and small pendants.
Each time, twenty members of the visitation ministry are involved in bazaars. They range from young to old. The young people give up their time which would have been with their sweethearts to stay with sick, elderly people. Some believers who work as cooks prepare lunches for the members.
Distribute Christmas gifts
On Christmas, the number of people who attend Chongwenmen Church is the highest and the queue into the church is from the church doorsteps to the nearby subway entrance.
The volunteers of the visitation ministry are responsible for distributing gifts. They carry gifts to different homes and even stay late at night without complaints.
Sister C who has served for years said, "I didn't feel painful or exhausted, but feel honored to work for the Lord!"
Under the leadership of Pastor T, the team has a fixed weekly devotional. The devotional content covers lessons such as, "How to serve" and "Unfavorable factors affecting the establishment of confidence (weakness, others, unbelief, small letter)".
- Translated by Karen Luo