A church in China’s northern Shanxi Province held a memorial service for a female pastor who died at the age of 83.
On August 13, nearly 100 people tearfully bid farewell to Pastor Chai Yumei, in Dongyi Village, Yaodu District, Linfen City.
Early in the morning, the worship team of Yaodu Church played gongs, drums, and trumpets. Then they performed cross-talk, three and a half sentences (a type of Chinese free talk), solo singing, dances, and other programs, which focused on advocating family harmony, honoring parents, and promoting harmony.
Some local believers presented hymns, one of which was written by Chai and named ‘To Honor Father and Mother’. The song lyrics said that believers needed to take care of their father and mother while they live. They should prepare food and drink for their parents and ask if they feel cold in winter and if hot in summer, bringing joy to God who would grant them blessing and longevity.
Then Wang Shuai preached a sermon with the title of “There Is No One to Resurrect with Tears”, saying that there was no sorrow for Christian death because they had hope rather than without expectations and that death was not the end but the hope of resurrection. He stated that when a Christian died he returned to heaven to enjoy eternal happiness in the arms of the Lord, so he should be full of joy instead of being sad when they passed away. The pastor encouraged church members to follow her example in loving God and people, glorifying Him, helping people, and witnessing Christ.
Then, Deacon Chai Xifeng, her eldest daughter, recalled her mother's life: Chai Yumei was born in August 1940 in a poor peasant family in Di Village, Zhaocheng County (now Hongdong County in Linfen City), and died at the age of 83. With five sons and daughters, her parents couldn’t afford to raise all but had to give Chai to a couple who could not give birth. Afterward, that couple took her to flee from famine to Dongyi District of Linfen County (now Yaodu District). Later she was given up and adopted as a daughter by an elderly person with no family. At seventeen she married her husband giving birth to three children. Baptized in 1989, she became a pastor in 1990 after she attended the city's first seminar for pastors. Since then she had devoted herself to preaching in many villages on the west of the Fenhe River. Having influenced many people’s lives with her experience, she attracted them to believe in God. Taught by her words and deeds, her two daughters, Xifeng and Xuefeng, became church deacons who are responsible for several church ministries.
- Translated by Stella He