Flooding caused by downpours struck a rural church and believers in China’s central Anhui Province.
After two days of strong rains, during a Sunday evening service on July 19 water began to rise in Bolin Church in Liuan County.
Several of the estimated 50 participants stayed at the church overnight, worrying that their home in a nearby polder area would be submerged. At 10 at night, they told a deacon in a call that the rainstorm was becoming worse.
The deacon came to the church quickly, knowing that the water had entered the courtyard. By midnight more than ten co-workers and believers were at the church, pumping water outside of the church. A deacon who is in charge of the church injured his foot during the process.
First founded in the 1990s, the three-story church has an attendance of 200 to 300 on average. Believers meet on the second floor.
As the flood reached its windows, the small old church building suffered much. The washing machine, refrigerator, and television were inundated. The first floor of the current building was flooded where there is a small chapel, prayer room, reception room, air conditioner, tables, and chairs. Thanks to the efforts to pump the water out of the building, there was only slight damage.
On the second day, the flooding stopped. One day later, the waters had subsided. The deacon led the congregation in cleaning and disinfecting the building in preparation for future services.
The couple who live on the second floor went back home. As of July 23, the water level reached two meters high, less than the height of the second floor.
In general, many members had to live in temporary shelters set up by the local authorities inside a middle school. The deacon said, “We have never seen such floods in the past decades.”
As the waters ebbed, they had to walk between temporary housing and their own homes, cleaning the houses from time to time. The vehicles that belong to the church could only drive a portion of them. It took believers, particularly the elderly, more than one hour to walk to and from their residence.
He added, “Some areas are more severely affected than us. Since we can’t help others, we don’t want to burden other brothers and sisters. I only ask you to pray for us.”
He revealed that no official or soldier came to help them as local church properties mattered little to the government. A cross-removal campaign is still ongoing in the province's Wuhe County.
- Translated by Karen Luo