Story: Assisted by Others, Indigent Minister Willing to Extend Aid

A picture of a church
1/2A picture of a church
A church in north China
2/2A church in north China
By Christine Lau June 30th, 2023

Zhong Cheng (pseudonym), a devout male believer in his 40s, has dedicated over two decades of his life to serving the Lord. Currently employed as a staff member at a thriving church in East China, Zhong Cheng has traversed a journey from receiving no salary to having some basic living expenses covered. Despite now enjoying a stable income, it remains insufficient due to the heavy responsibilities he carries, including supporting both his immediate and extended family members as well as raising his own children.

Over twenty years ago, when Zhong Cheng had just assumed the position of a full-time minister without any remuneration, life was persistently arduous for him. Upon getting married, he did not even possess a personal residence and instead resided in his elder brother's home, preparing his meals in the basement. On a distressing occasion, when his father fell ill, and while his siblings contributed to the medical expenses, Zhong Cheng was unable to provide financial support for his father's treatment.

Notably, some families of full-time ministers had enterprises or factories at their disposal, allowing them to focus solely on their service without the financial concerns that burdened Zhong Cheng. His wife once questioned why he couldn't earn money like these individuals by establishing a business. Overwhelmed by emotions, he implored God through tears, saying, "Lord, allow me to temporarily leave the church for three years to engage in business. Let me accumulate some savings so I can resume serving you without excessive financial pressure."

During his prayer, he heard echoes of Mordecai's words to Esther: "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the royal position for such a time as this?" Encouraged, he responded to his wife by highlighting that while other church staff members were capable of establishing factories or businesses, he possessed greater blessings in his life.

Zhong Cheng's journey of service was undoubtedly challenging, yet it was also filled with divine grace. 

Initially, his elder brother planned to purchase a house located far from their hometown, but their mother disagreed. As a result, his brother decided to add additional floors to their existing building, providing Zhong Cheng and his family with living space.

The extracurricular programs attended by his son were facilitated by fellow believers who offered him a generous fifty percent discount. Similarly, upon learning that Zhong Cheng was a minister, the person in charge of his daughter's kindergarten willingly extended a fifty percent reduction in fees, greatly alleviating his financial burdens.

Therefore, whenever Zhong Cheng learned about grassroots evangelists struggling with financial hardships, he wholeheartedly endeavors to assist them. He stated, "Having personally experienced the hardships of poverty, I have a deep sense of empathy for individuals currently facing similar circumstances. Recognizing the challenges faced by the impoverished, I am dedicated to offering whatever assistance I can provide."

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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