Three churches in northeast China's Liaoning province resumed gatherings on the same day after the Spring Festival.
In Changtu Church, Tieling City, which had just finished more than a month of renovations during the COVID-19 lockdown, a face-to-face service and praise meeting were held.
After believers read the Bible, prayed, and praised, Elder Chen Yu, dressed in a clerical robe, preached a sermon titled "Grateful to God", encouraging churchgoers to repay the Lord and count His Grace based on Psalm 116: 1-19. She declared that believers should praise the name of the Lord, fulfill their vows to Him, and dedicate their lives.
During the worship and praise meeting following the service, church staff, groups, and other churches presented 26 programs, including dances, couples' choruses, male believers' choruses, dance songs, and a program played in an allegro tempo.
Following a ten-month break in on-site gatherings beginning on April 10, 2022, Taoyuan Mountain Church and Yuanbao Mountain Church in Dandong City resumed their Sunday services on the same day. The number of worshipers in these two churches was roughly the same as it was prior to the epidemic.
Rev. Zhang Chunyu said, "I thought the number would be one-third of the number before the suspension of in-person services, but the attendance has not been declined and almost remains the same." Next, prayer meetings, praise meetings, and Bible study gatherings will be gradually resumed.
Many Christians didn’t come back to worship God in some reopened churches, and even a church with more than 1,000 people has only above a hundred Christians left.
Zhang said, "Pastoral care is to build relationships with believers, a spiritual kinship. If you get close to them, they will naturally be willing to get close to you and talk to you if they have problems. Firmly united in love, they come back now and I don’t forget them, either." He added, "It can be said that 'I believe in the communion of saints'! Then the body of Jesus is built up."
(The article is originally published by the Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Abigail Wu