At the beginning of the last month of 2020, some colleagues and I visited churches in Hainan and Guangxi provinces. I saw the revival of the grassroots churches after the pandemic, the hard work of our pastors, and the believers’ love of the Lord.
The Sanya Church, located on Yuya Road, Hainan, is not big. The doors were open before it was time to gather for the service. A believer told me the church was basically restored, holding gatherings four times a week, according to COVID-19 protocols. He welcomed me and told me the specific service time.
Though I stayed there for a short time and only took pictures of the outside of the church, I felt warm inside. Looking at the cross on the church, I seemed to hear God the Father say, "I have consecrated the temple which you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” (1 Kings 9:3)
In a church in Nanning, Guangxi Province, I was moved by a hard-working pastor. The day I arrived happened to be the time of the Communion service. While upstairs and downstairs were full of people, the senior pastor was preaching. After the second service, I saw that the pastor was still talking with the believers. The pastor told me that she was the only one who preached in the four services, while the choirs could take turns singing hymns. After the service, she would interact with the congregation. In the afternoon there was a pastor who would be ordained as well as a baptism service. And on Monday she had to go to another place to study, who has a full schedule in her service of the church.
When we came to another church in Nanning, a pastor was training more than ten people, and everyone took turns reading and speaking. They all took notes and listened carefully.
The senior pastor told us that at the beginning there were only a few dozen people who attended, but now more than a hundred people gather in the church. The believers are mainly from outside of the city, including white-collar workers and migrant workers.
In the pastor’s office, there were rows of books on faith. The pastor who loves studying recommended books bought by himself to the pastoral staff and believers.
With a history of more than 100 years, one church in Beihai, Guangxi is not big enough to accommodate the number of people who want to attend the Christmas service. The church celebrates Christmas during the month of December, hosting a special celebration each week.
On the first Sunday of December, after the choir sang several hymns, the pastor spent ten minutes explaining the meaning of Christmas and the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Later the senior pastor commented and summarized his teaching in three minutes, sharing a metaphor story. Then the Christmas celebrations began.
(The article is originally published by Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Abigail Wu