On September 9, 2019, Youhao Church of Dunhua, Jilin invited more than 100 left-behind elderly people to attend a gathering for the traditional Mid-autumn Festival.
Those invited were from 11 villages near Hanzhang Village. Sitting at tables decked out with flowers, fruit, and snacks, a total of 83 "left-behind" seniors over the age of 70 watched Gospel aerobics performed by church members. Each of them ate dumplings from the church and was given gifts of a kilo of mooncakes, Chinese bakery products traditionally eaten during the Festival. Laughter was heard throughout the gathering.
The remaining 35 seniors were unable to attend the gathering due to serious illness. However, the church staff sent mooncakes to their homes.
Pastor Yang Wensheng, who is in charge of the church, said, "The day of the Mid-autumn Festival is the traditional Chinese reunion day. Since these seniors don't have children or have children who are not around, we should send Jesus' love to them."
The activity received good feedback. Some seniors were moved to tears and some would have liked to have invited more disadvantaged people to join the church.
(The author is a worker of Dunhua Christian Council & Three - Self Patriotic Movement, Jilin.)
- Translated by Karen Luo