Christian Victims of Yancheng Chemical Plant Blast Tell of “Grace in Sufferings”

By Yi Yang, April 10, 2019 09:04 AM

The Xiangshui County TSPM staff visited a destroyed church in Yancheng, Jiangsu.

The Xiangshui County TSPM staff visited affected believers on March 27, 2019. (WeChat account: Christianity in Xiangshui )

Christian victims of a deadly explosion that killed 78 people in Jiangsu province last month told of God's grace when pastors visited them in local hospitals in Yancheng on March 27, 2019. 

Twelve believers were injured in the "March 21" blast that damaged nearly 30 churches in Xiangshui county. 

According to a worker of the Xiangshui county church, an elderly believer was working with his two colleagues on a construction site that was separated only by a wall from the Tianjiayi Chemical Plant where the blast occurred. 

After the blast, because of being surrounded by a dense fog, they were unable to see any possible way of escape. Crying for the Lord's guidance, they ran from the scene with injuries. 

"He felt truly grateful to God, saying that God had saved him!"

One of the workers was hospitalized in the I.C.U with severe wounds and another was missing. 

A sister had three broken ribs, but she, haunted by the experience, thanked God for saving her life rather than complain about why she had to go through the misery. 

She recalled putting on a hardhat and fastening it harder than usual just twenty seconds before the incident. During the blast, she was blown down the banisters by the shock waves and had a terrible fall. After she was rescued, she found her hat that had been smashed to pieces with only the cord still on her head. 

"I might have been dead if I hadn't worn that helmet. I cringe when thinking about it."

The accident caused various degrees of damage to nearly 30 churches in Xiangshui County, and churches with severe damage had stopped their gatherings. 

On March 28, the staff of the county Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) visited six critically affected churches. With the main area of 4,065 square meters (1 acre), Wangshang Church suffered damages estimated at 2 million yuan. Haian Church needed to be reconstructed. 

In terms of what churches encountered, a worker stated, "Our faith tells us that God never gives believers the privilege of being free from trouble, but promises peace in the world despite tribulations. The suffering Lord Jesus becomes the hope and comfort of numerous people who suffer! Having to suffer like the Lord, his church on the earth identifies with the trials of the world and mourns with those who mourn. The glory of the cross arrives after tribulations. I pledge brothers and sisters to pray for the recovery effort of those damaged churches. Pray that God will look on his holy house of worship and let the glory of the churches that have experienced sufferings be greater than of the former, gaining favor with God and man." 

- Translated by Karen Luo 

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