Remember Deceased Shanxi Preacher

A picture of Fan Zhilin, a male pastor in Wanrong County, Yuncheng City, Shanxi Province
A picture of Fan Zhilin, a male pastor in Wanrong County, Yuncheng City, Shanxi Province
By Zhang XiaohuaMarch 6th, 2023

A member of a church choir in Shanxi wrote an article to remember the death of a 65-year-old believer who was praised for his faithful service until the end of his life.

Sister Wang Jiarui, from the choir of the church in Yaodu District, Linfen, Shanxi, posted an article a few days ago in memory of Fan Zhilin, a believer who passed away at 65 years old. In the article, she talked about the three times she met him. 

It was on the morning of September 11, 2022, on Sunday, when the choir was making final preparations before presenting poems. A thin, middle-aged believer came in and said that Elder Tai had introduced him. He then sat down, and they practiced singing together. Later, they wore choir robes and went to the church to present poems.

After the service, he introduced himself, saying he was Fan Zhilin from Wanrong County, Shanxi, a patient after cancer surgery. He had served and preached in his hometown before. Since his son was working in Linfen, he came to Linfen to recuperate, following which he came to the church to find the choir.

The choir sings in four parts, and he was assigned to the third part. The next day, the city was silently closed because of the epidemic. He practiced singing carefully with the rhythm of his part. At the same time, he did not forget to prepare to preach notes for the network pastoral care of his hometown church.

On November 15, three new brothers joined the choir, and everyone got together to practice singing Christmas songs.

After the meeting concluded, they communicated on the messaging app WeChat. The choir planned to celebrate Christmas online due to COVID-19. To the accompaniment of Banhu and his daughter-in-law’s Chinese lute, Brother Fan cooperated with his son, who worked in the troupe band, and sang “Crystal Night, Stilly Night,” which became his swan song for the Lord.

After Christmas at Linfen Church Online, he also tested negative for COVID-19 and had a fever. Later, it was learned that his condition had worsened. Four believers from the choir visited him at his home on the morning of February 17. He said that he was not afraid of death but that he hadn’t finished the sermon he was preparing. What’s more, idol worship is popular in his village, and many souls have not been saved. Deacon Guiling, who went to visit him, praying that he would have the ability to face his illness calmly, and sang the song “Safe in the arms of Jesus” for him.

Five days later came the news that he had been called to his heavenly home. His son thanked his brothers and sisters for their prayers. He also mentioned that his father left very peacefully and that the funeral was held according to the church funeral service.

- Translated by Stephen Huang

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