A Brother's Letter From Shanghai Under Pandemic

In a community compound in Shanghai, some volunteers distributed the vegetables purchased through group buying to community residents in early April 2022.
In a community compound in Shanghai, some volunteers distributed the vegetables purchased through group buying to community residents in early April 2022.
By Jue MingMay 5th, 2022

One brother who lives in Shanghai is really grateful to fellow believers from various cities for their concern and prayer. His community has been in lockdown for a month due to COVID-19, but there is no shortage of daily food, as he has been cooking by himself for over 20 years. When he went to the Huangpu River to preach the gospel in early March, he met an insider who warned that Shanghai would experience a catastrophe. After he finished preaching, he went to the supermarket to get goods for storage, and he bought food that could be stored for a long time. At that time, there were not many people buying goods and the prices were as normal. Since he also purchased much milk powder, now he is no shortage of protein and calories. One of his neighbors from Yunnan ate only once a day, so he gave him some food, and the neighbor’s cat was even out of food.

In early April, he went for a walk in the morning and met an old lady suffering from rheumatism at the entrance of the residents' committee who was in pain as she ran out of painkillers. Knowing this, he quickly went home to get her a spare one, which was enough for more than 20 days. She left gratefully. There is a man surnamed Zhang living in the building next to his. He bought Zhang an MP3 player before and recorded many plays and songs for him. But not long ago, he accidentally broke his leg and had over-treatment misled by the doctor. He spent more than RMB 100,000 at his own expense, so the anger pushed him to break the mp3 player in a rage. Now that he lost the player forever, he felt rather bored. Learning of this, the brother sent his spare MP3 player to him, listened to his complaints, and comforted him with words.

Living on the top floor, the brother often wipes all the handrails on both sides with towels when passing by, as there are several frail people who need to use them every day, and the cleaning staff would not wipe them. Later as the pandemic worsened, the building was in lockdown. When he went upstairs, he would at his convenience bring goods to the neighbors on the 4th, 5th, and 6th floors. The 80-year-old woman who lives alone next door is unable to go upstairs or downstairs, so he is responsible for picking up goods and throwing out the garbage for her, and chatting with her to relieve boredom. Once he heard an old couple on the ground floor complaining that they could not get fresh vegetables, he quietly went down at 5 am and hung two cabbages on the doorknob of their house.

When the building was not locked down, he carried the LED display bag for a walk every day, which could show 10 gospel messages on it, which is eye-catching in the evening. It attracted many people's attention. Two cleaners praised it in surprise. On a sunny day in early April, he went down for a nucleic acid test. He thought that the display effect would not be good under the sun, but unexpectedly it was seen by many people. Some even read the gospel out. When he finished the nucleic acid test, the screen was found by nurses, who read out "Jesus was resurrected after death" and repeated it three times. She also called others to see it, and the police who kept order beside him didn't stop it.

The number of people with positive nucleic acid test results in the quarter was still increasing, so it seemed there was no hope of ending the lockdown. It was said that some residents banged on washbasins or pots, or shouted in unison at night to collectively express their dissatisfaction. On the evening of a hot day that saw temperatures as high as 33 degrees Celsius, there was silence all around as the residents had just had dinner and were opening windows to enjoy the cool air. He took the rare opportunity, hung the player out of the balcony, and played the hymns in the order he made, including Silent Night, Amazing Grace, Yearning (a popular TV drama in the 1990s) by Mao Amin, a favorite local singer of old Shanghainese, and Wishing You Peace by Sun Yue. In the intervals between songs, a 20-second gospel recorded by three announcers was broadcast which spread very far. The Baymax-like staff in protective clothing who are on duty also loudly said "Go on!" The broadcast lasted just over ten minutes, which did not disturb the residents, and could spread the good news.

When he was ill four years ago, he lost much weight, to the point where he weighed only 50kg. Later, he was referred to a treatment plan suggested by a brother and went to see a doctor. Then he got the right treatment and gradually gained weight. It's hard for him to walk the stairs every day, so he took the opportunity to reduce calorie intake and lose weight so that he could walk more briskly. There happened to be a Panasonic hair clipper at home which was sent by a brother more than 10 years ago. He used it to cut his own hair.

Once, he heard a Christian on the Gospel Radio sharing his comments on the implementation of digital RMB. Touched by the spirit of the Lord, he took out his own deposit and exchanged it for tens of thousands of dollars while the money was still free to be exchanged and transferred. He asked his connections to remit it directly to the first-line preaching teams in over 10 countries and regions (including Russia). For some places where he could not transfer money, he would send it in envelopes several times, which had all arrived safely a few days ago. Although it may not be not a big amount of money, the preachers in various countries have been greatly encouraged during the pandemic.

As a large proportion of the deaths in the pandemic has been the elderly, he suggested that his fellows should evangelize them, and their faith in the Lord will influence their descendants. For example, Hao Bochun, a veteran Kuomintang member, came to Christ in the 2020 pandemic. Liang Yusheng, a famous writer, and Mei Baojiu, a renowned Peking Opera artist, also became Christians during their old age.

- Translated by Oliver Zuo

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