Annual Christmas Dinner Bears Wonderful Testimonies in Local Community
By Mu Sheng, December 30, 2017 06:12 AM
For a small suburban church in central Henan Province, central China, a humble Christmas dinner has been the tradition for decades.
There are two churches in my hometown: a large church in the town center and a small one in a suburb where my family attended. Back during the impoverished time it was a shabby house with only one room.
When I was little, I loved Christmas most because I could feast on a very delicious meal in our church, even though it was merely soup with some tofu, black mushrooms, and a little fat. Back then meat was only available at Spring Festival.
I was a bit of a foodie. On occasions when Christmas didn't fall on the weekend I would lie to my parents in order to have a few bowls of soup to satisfy my appetite. Some other kids also skipped school on that day and hid in the corner of the church waiting for the meal.
Other than kids, the meal would also attract many unbelievers in the village to rush to the church. The church never turned them down. It would simply build several big stoves with big pots to prepare food.
This tradition is kept even today and many people feast in the church. However, as people's living condition improved, the meal at the church is no longer special and there are fewer children. Most of the attendees are seniors that come for the memory. They often say that eating the Christmas meal at church will keep them safe in the coming year.
Thanks to this tradition, the church is able to connect with the locals despite some people still holding misconceptions. For the same reason, they don't reject the church since they all benefit from it.
This year, the church spent thousands on meat and vegetables, hoping to feed everyone nicely and full so that they want to come again next year.
In fact, it also works as an approach for spreading the Gospel. A former "Christmas attendee" converted because she saw the sincerity of the church through hosting the dinner every year free of charge. She said she felt embarrassed for not believing. Now, she has been in the church's choir for over two years and she also led her husband to church this year.
Our church hosts large-scale praise and worship. With free meals, many people would come to the church. This is a tradition inherited from an old leader to bear a good reputation in the community, so when people resist Christmas, this old generation will be the testimony.
Another tradition of the church is to give out Spring Festival couplets for free. Though they don't cost much, this action brings a greater sense of intimacy for the church.
-Translated by Grace Hubl
More from CCD
A testimony of a Christian's struggle after being seriously disabled
Xanadu nursing home mainly serve elderly Christians with faith support, welfares, and care.
A brief intro to the novels of Lao She which focus on the Chinese women's suffering because of the rigid traditional way of life
On July 8, 2019, the opening ceremony of the 2019 summer training course on "religion and rule of law" was held in Beijing.
Robert Alexander Jaffray, a Canadian, was a missionary who came to China. He preached in Guangxi and the Southeast Asia for decades, and had remarkable accomplishments in printing textual materials.
A criticism of the hypocrisy within the church and its leaders by a famous modern Chinese Christian novelist.
Mrs Laurence Thurston was a female missionary from the American Presbyterian Mission and also one of the founders of Ginling College, someone who made a great contribution to female schools.
Testimony from Five Generation Christian Family: Faith Is Real Experience, Not Just Family Inheritance
Elder Li Jianhua, from Shandong province, lives in a family of five generations who are all Christians, with his grandfather being the first generation down to his grandchildren. He is the third child in his family, and he and his second elder brother are both pastors. They all have set good examples for the locals. Now, his grandfather and father have all passed away. Elder Li, at sixty years of age, says that from his grandfather to his grandson, who are all Christians, all have their own experience in the Lord.
A famous Chinese novelist, Lao She, and his practice of faith in his works
A review of the impact on Chinese Christians by the Union Version Bible and its translation.