Chinese Churches, Christians Aid Henan Floods

Local rescue workers used kayaks to save people from flooding in Xinxiang, flood-hit Henan in late July 2021.
Local rescue workers used kayaks to save people from flooding in Xinxiang, flood-hit Henan in late July 2021. (photo:Xinhua News Agency)
By Ruth WangJuly 31st, 2021

"The brothers in Shandong shipped trucks of donations to support Xinxiang."

"The brothers in Beijing sent donations to relieve Xinxiang."

"These are our efforts to deliver donations of care to victims who are most in need. Immanuel!"

In recent days, Brother L from Xinxiang, flood-hit Henan Province has been updating the latest pictures and messages of disaster relief areas on his WeChat Moments, a category of updates on China’s most popular messaging app. 

On July 20th, Zhengzhou, Henan's capital, suffering from torrential rains that were so rare for many years, was the focus of media at home and abroad. Meanwhile, news of torrential rains and floods in Xinxiang and Weihui, which are around Zhengzhou area, also hit headlines. At that time, L who was in Sichuan could not get back to his hometown in time. He became desperate and anxious as he would like to help the stricken areas after seeing all kinds of disaster news shared by friends and relatives on WeChat. He contacted churches and Christians in different places in the hope of donating materials to help his hometown as much as possible. Eventually, he got home to the rescue front shortly after public transportation resumed.

In fact, apart from Brother L, there were many unknown Christians in Xinxiang who managed to collect donations through various means such as WeChat Moments. They contacted the local authorities to deliver donations as soon as possible.

Some Christians spontaneously formed a rescue team to salvage victims in floods. On July 27th, a front-line rescue staff said, "Because I am busy with rescue during the day, I have no energy to cope with all kinds of external information and contact." He simply said: "Thank you very much to my family. Please pray for our front-line family."

Various short videos of front-line salvage and rescue have also been sent out by many front-line believers. Many people followed big trucks or rescue boats to the flooded roads and houses to find the stricken people.

In addition to directly participating in salvage and rescue, another major aid was to contact local relief supplies, especially daily necessities such as clean water, instant noodles, bread, tissue rolls, and deliver them to frontline victims. The victimes repeatedly called out to the outside world for various specific relief materials, such as "a large amount of rice, wheat and vegetables for support", "Urgent need! Urgent need! Urgent need! We need ice sleeves, ice pants, scalding pills, towels, sunscreen ointment, medical disinfection sleep, ointment soaked in water for a long time, toilet water, sulfur soap, power banks, glucose hydrating liquid." Another message went, "Steamed bread, water, boiled eggs, snacks, continue to send, maintain the hometown, we are in action. Come on Xinxiang! Come on Wei Hui!"

During the rescue, there were many difficult conditions such as continued heavy rains, but a Christian said,  "Though the house leaks and it rains every night, no amount of rain can overwhelm the love of brothers and sisters."

The record-breaking rainstorms have caused 99 deaths and five missings as of Thursday afternoon, affecting more than 13.91 million people and 1.04 million hectares of crops.

- Translated by Charlie Li

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