Although we work with Chinese Registered Churches and Christianity is one of the religions that is recognized by the Chinese government, things can sometimes become complicated for the churches there.
On a rainy and dreary day recently we had the opportunity to visit a rural village in central China where a small church is located. The lady who is the leader of the church told us her story. Because she had been healed of a serious illness through the prayers of some Christians, she accepted Christ as her Savior. After experiencing God’s love and receiving discipleship from her new mentors, she became a leader in her church.
The original church was located in a village on a island and people who did not live on the island came to church by boat. Later a very large flood destroyed most of the buildings in the village, including the church. The Governor of the village gave them land to build another church.
Three years ago a large real estate company purchased the island in order to build a resort in the area. They quoted a price for the building and she accepted, not realizing the value of the location so decided to replace the church with another building in her own hometown. The amount of money she had was not enough to build an adequate building but she did the best she could.
A neighbor did not approve of having the church nearby. After his son was killed in an accident he felt that the village was under some sort of spell because of the Christian church being built there. As a result he blocked the only road leading to the church. Soon he became very ill and was fearful that this was his punishment from God for blocking the roadway. After recovering, he and his wife went to the church leader and apologized, asking for a compromise. He would remove the barrier if she would remove the cross from the church. Reluctantly, she agreed and removed the cross.
The distress of this adversity was evident as she told us her story and an elderly lady standing nearby displayed her emotion with tears. In spite of the situation, we sensed the peace and joy they possess knowing they are faithful to their heavenly calling. Please pray that God would give encouragement to this small group of elderly Christians and that their church would once again be a place full of God’s spirit as they show love and grace to their village. Bibles for China feels strongly that we are most effective when we are able to spend time with the believers in order to hear the struggles they are working through. Together we can make a difference.