On the morning of December 20th, two fellowships of the Yaodu District Church in China's northern Shaanxi Province held a Thanksgiving worship service to celebrate the incoming Christmas.
Early in the morning, members of the church's disability fellowship and the elderly fellowship came to the nursing home located in the Xinhe Nursing Home in the village of Mawu, Linfen, following COVID-19 protocols.
Singing the song "Happy Christmas-Good News", the congregation read Psalm 100 and recited the "Apostles' Creed" in the service presided over by Deacon Wang Jiarui. After Sister Zhang Qiuping reported the good news, the participants sang "Congratulations to Him as King" and "The Song of Three Magi", and read Isaiah 9:1-7.
Then Pastor Yan Minjuan gave a sermon on the theme of "The Christmas Gift". She explained that God’s gift is his only son Jesus who can save the people from their sins and give great light to the people sitting in the shadow of death. The people who believe will be redeemed. She exhorted the believers to prepare their hearts to offer their best gifts to God as the Magi did.
Then, the elderly members of the Evergreen Fellowship performed a church cantata, and the believers of the Disabled Christian Fellowship presented two small choruses, "The River of Life" and "The Greatest Treasure in the Universe". Four senior believers in their seventies sang "Old Couple Study the Bible" with actions and the crowd burst into applause. Jiao Mingqing, a disabled believer, performed "The Essentials of Each Volume of the Bible" to a strong beat. He spent half a year memorizing the performance, which contained nearly two hundred sentences, all that he remembered clearly. Several elderly believers sang "My Motherland", which resonated with the audience. Some even danced to the song. Later there was also a Bible contest and prizes were given to those who answered correctly. A 93-year-old believer who was baptized 4 years ago said excitedly: " It is a great thing that I live in Jesus, as I pray to God every day and God is with me and guards me in everything. "
Finally, five seekers prayed to accept Jesus. Later the attendees shared a love feast together and received Christmas gifts.
The Disability Fellowship also distributed Christmas gifts to ten sanitation workers on Fuli Road, including a pair of gloves, a pack of disposable medical face masks (pack of ten pieces), and a Christmas gift bag. They have shared in this public service for the past three years before Christmas, sending the love of Jesus Christ to those who work on the city’s beautification.
On December 19, Qin Xia Church in Dawang Village, the first pastoral district of the Yaodu District Church, held a Christmas and Thanksgiving worship service, attended by 70 believers. Couplets were posted at the gate, with the hollowed-out Merry Christmas paper cutting on the wall. Before entering the hall, the attendees registered their personal information and had their temperature taken.
At the Xucun activity site where the second pastoral district was located, a Christmas Thanksgiving service was held on December 20, and 70 believers from surrounding villages attended.
At the Dongzhang activity site of the third pastoral district, a Christmas and Thanksgiving worship service was held on December 17. Early in the morning, the colleagues in charge of reception had ribbons on which were written: "Jesus loves you." They greeted the believers following COVID-19 protocols. It was the first service after the coronavirus pandemic broke out and more than 90 people attended.
(The article is originally published by Gospel Times)
-Translated by Abigail Wu