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Four Churches in Hubei Ravaged by Torrential Rain

Four Churches in Hubei Ravaged by Torrential Rain

The church The church
ByYetta Yao July 17, 2016
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This summer, a range of torrential rain, high wind, hail, landslide and urban waterlogging continuously struck Hubei in Central China.

CCD contacted Rev. Zhang Wenhua, the executive editor of Sweet Dew, a magazine of Zhongnan Theological Seminary, to know the current situation on July 12.

According to Rev. Zhang, the disaster has badly damaged the churches, especially the four main county churches, their believers' families, the provincial seminary; as well as the buildings and crops. Luckily, there were no deaths recorded in the region.

The provincial CCC&TSPM staff including Rev. Zhang visited some of the severely ruined county churches on July 8.

"It was not ordinarily serious!" , she says, "The torrential rain resulted in severe damages to the rural churches that the whole churches were soaked with the roof, wall body and ground completely ruined. Jiayu County suffered the most."

Her introduction letter about the church's condition in the county said that a church was filled with rain inside and outside, soaking it in water. When they were visiting the location, the water has yet to reside as it has not been drained away completely with the excrement in the toilet overflowing.

"I couldn't get into it... I slid into it through a plank when visiting it." She describes it with the Chinese saying "flooding Jishan temple".

Trinity Church, another local church, whose top and wall have been damaged similarly, has been determined to be not suitable for gatherings due to its integrity.

The water came into Gospel Church in Luxi and the church might collapse if another strong rain comes in. Four wood pillars taken from trees are used to support the church.

Currently, the believers gather in a temporary shed in the yard nearby. But, she worries whether the seniors could get out if it crashes down in another downpour.

A church in Dawu has also been washed away by a landslide trigged by the flood caused by the recent downpour. 

"The current problem is to displace water. These rural churches are made for the elderly who have no money. Prayer and help are needed." She says.

Meanwhile, the believers' families suffer from great losses because of the tragedy. She said that there are farmlands and ditches on the sides of the road in Jiayu County, an ecoagricultural base; but, they have been submerged by water. The crops rot in the fields and the melons and fruits float on the water.

The staff visited a sister's family who had a pond of 500 mu, reporting the loss of more than one million yuan in earnings for their family. Rev. Zhang says that the couple, around 50, have to support their parents and a child who studies in a school through the pond's earnings. 

Believers relocated with their relatives and children to the highlands while the reconstruction and recovery efforts are being done.

In addition, she says that the disaster also damaged Zhong Nan Theological Seminary, whose schoolhouses were destroyed by the downpour as two cars parked there have smashed in the school's walls. The car owners were asked for the compensation of 100,000 yuan.The seminary directly lost 500,000 yuan.

The national CCC&TSPM issued a news article to call for prayers for the disaster-affected churches and believers.

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