Another wave of COVID-19 outbreak first detected in Nanjing since July 20 has caused churches in some areas of northeastern China to close again from early August. At present, some percentages of churches all over the world are holding online services.
"Every day, it's my emotion that goes up and it's the pandemic prevention that goes on. Wear a mask and pose for the cam," said Pastor Yan Peng, senior pastor of Haikou Road Church, Changchun City, Jilin Province. He led his church staff putting on masks to face the camera while making a music video to cheer for believers.
The Christian Church in Yuguang Street, Dalian, Liaoning Province continued to "punch in" for Bible reading on the Internet and read the Bible "rally" step by step according to the established plan.
Pastor Liu Xueguang, senior pastor of the Shuishiying Church in Lushunkou District of Dalian, initially informed the believers of the temporary "close-down" through the Internet. Yet, they never stopped reading, sharing and praising on the Internet every day. They read more than 3,000 scriptures and praise online from morning till night.
The church in Changtu County, Liaoning Province, informed the congregation about suspension of on-site gathering by means of internet and telephone, which was arranged by the staff on duty at the main entrance of the church. They posted the notice from the relevant departments of the county. Elder Chen, the head of the church, said that after many waves of the pandemic and suspensions of gatherings, teachers and pastors and believers did not lose heart, but thanked God by quoting Psalms 66:10, "For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver."
After receiving the notice of temporary "suspension", the churches in Jinsha New District, Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang Province, continues to launch online Sunday sermons.
Pastors of some local churches also communicated and shared with pastors of other churches. They discussed which software to use and how to better use them in the network pastor meetings, mainly based on the convenient and simple network channel which is beneficial to the congregation.
A senior pastor in Dalian, Liaoning Province, confided in the public through the Internet, "The pandemic has changed a lot of things including the way of church services, the form of worship, the arrangement of our ministries, and everyone's life. Some people and churches may have a harder life, but I am convinced that God's love has not changed and His words are still valid in heaven. His care has not changed, his sovereignty has not changed, and his mind has not changed. This becomes our comfort, strength and help. In the ever-changing world, we can still sing with confidence: God is the eternal guarantee of people, the hope of people in the future, the shelter of people against wind and rain, and the permanent home of people."
On August 8th, the first temporary "close-down" Sunday, the church gathered online to sing hymns, pray, read scriptures, testify and bless, which was almost the same as the offline gathering procedure.
On the Friday after church closure, eleven sisters in charge of taking temperatures at Lvhua Street Church in Anshan, Liaoning Province, worked to watch at the main entrance of the church. Their main task was to dissuade and inform the unaware believers that on-site gatherings were temporarily suspended.
On the morning of August 8th, some of the teachers and pastors in Anshan Lvhua Street Church, as well as staff in the temperature measuring group and service group, left home after 5 o'clock to get to the church. They continued to be on duty at the main entrance of the church and once again advised believers who had not yet been informed about the temporary suspension.
(The comprehensive report is originally published by Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Charlie Li