2nd Generation Christian Series: Young Sister Returns to Rural Church from Shanghai

By CCD contrbutor: Xiao Bin , February 06, 2018 09:02 AM

A rural church in China. (CCD file photo )

Editor's Note:

A sister who tried her best to leave the countryside and was determined to have a future in the big city all of a sudden abandoned her foreseeable bright future, married a preacher husband and is now serving in a rural church. What wass the reason behind this decision? And what significant influence would traditional rural churches have on second generation Christians born since 1990?

Xiao Yu is a very sweet sister who always has a gorgeous smile on her face. She majored in English with an education minor. After graduation, she went to Shanghai and worked in foreign trade.

However, it didn't go well.

There were many customers that required invoices with falsified numbers. As a Christian, she refused every time. Her boss respected her faith but, though he didn't fire her, he frequently gave her "the talk." She was never swayed.

How Xiao Yu pursued her profession was rather inspiring.

Coming from a financially struggling family, she worked part-time in college and still had good grades. However, no matter how hard she worked, a junior college degree was her biggest obstacle. Most cities have adjusted the minimum degree for the teacher's exam to a bachelor's, which means she couldn't become a teacher.

So she went to Shanghai.

Life in Shanghai was not easy. Even though she had an ok paycheck, the high living cost made this northern country girl want to run away a million times. Being able to interact with foreigners was the one reason she didn't quit. It helped her English a lot. She thought about going back to her hometown after a few more years.

Some of her college friends believed Xiao Yu would change her mind about returnng after a few years and stay in the prosperous "Yangtze River Delta" after working in Shanghai. After all, she is very outstanding and independent. One friend even set her up with men a few times, but she kindly turned them all down. She always said she wanted to focus on her work instead of relationships.

They were then surprised when they learned that she was getting married.

Chen, who attends the same church as Xiao Yu, said that the whole village is "persecuting" and isolating her family. There are dozens of households in that village and only one Christian family - Xiao Yu's. Her family doesn't have much income because her brother has been serving in the church since he graduated from high school and her parents are farmers. Such a Christian family - honest, poor, ailing, and tactless - is very common in rural areas and can end up being isolated and bullied.

Most rural believers  rely on the almighty power of prayer in minor illnessws without going to the hospital. Over time, they end up sickly with some chronic disease.

It is true that people look down upon poor people in rural areas. Some people who stay long enough within the church and received teachings of "Sacred-profane dichotomy" tend to be extreme and tactless, therefore, they don't fit in with non-believers.

Wang, Xiao Yu's husband, is a preacher and has been in love with her for many years. It was also Xiao Yu's dream to marry a preacher.

Preachers here get paid between 1,000-5,000 yuan ($160-$800) per month. Those who serve in big churches or multiple churches in one district are paid more. However, it depends on the arrangement from above. Young preachers usually need to have another occupation to make ends meet.

According to Chen, the expenses in their home are very low since the church basically takes care of everything: sickness, retirement, and funerals. For example, the church offered an officiate and band free of charge for their wedding.

Also, they can't starve since they have home grown food.

Xiao Yu is considering opening an English tutoring class. Since her husband also has skills, they'll make some money.

-Translated by Grace Hubl

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