An old female believer told a story of the construction of a Liaoning church under God's grace.
On May 16, Luo Lihua, founder of Huolongzhai Church in Dalongling Village, Tanggangzi Town, Qianshan District, Anshan City, Liaoning Province, share how God led the congregation to build a church.
Luo, aged 79, was baptized in 1991. Before becoming a Christian, she was suffering from illness and almost died. Her younger son, who embraced Jesus while in college, urged her to do the same, “Mom, come with me to the church where old members are all happy and healthy.”
Being enthusiastic about evangelism after baptism, she opened up her home as a gathering place, as there were no churches at that time in this village. Believers from nearby villages and other regions came to her home to worship God, with the number quickly exceeding 300. The gathering place was never funded by believers, but by Luo herself. Pastors sent by the Anshan Municipal CC&TSPM also had meals in her home after sermons.
During church services, five rooms of her home were full of Christians, even on the windowsills. So she set up a big shed outside for gathering, but it was cold in winter and hot in summer; this lasted for 6 years. As the number of believers increased, the construction of a church was posed in front of her.
In 1997, the construction of a church in Huolongzhai began, showing God's preparation and grace.
The first grace was to solve the land problem. Seeing so many Christians gathering in her home, a village leader sympathized with them. He discussed with a villager to sell his unused land of about 2,000 square meters (0.49acre) at only 3,000 yuan.
The second was to solve the problem of felling trees. The trees planted by a villager on the land could not be cut down at will, as they needed to obtain approval from the forestry department and pay a sum of money, but the gathering place did not have any money. Village cadres said they would help them and went to relevant departments to solve it without spending any money.
The third was to solve the problem of church construction. A cadre in the town took the initiative to help find a construction team that could first carry out construction, with the project paid in four installments. On July 8, 1997, the foundation stone of the Huolongzhai Church was laid, with more than 600 participants from both local and other regions. As believers actively contributed, offerings were just enough for the first installment which was 50,000 yuan, even with some money left over.
The fourth was to solve the financial issues every time. The project had commenced, but what about the remaining funds which amounted to 175,000 yuan? In the early stage of construction, the congregation kept praying, and the second payment of 50,000 was given to the team in time. Luo led the staff to visit the village and ask for help from house to house, gaining sympathy, understanding, and support. Christians, non-Christians, and even village officials, loaned or contributed money to them, with believers from neighboring areas participating. A captain said, “Although I'm worried that you are not able to pay the money, I also know that you really have a God, and He is a real God!”
In the end, until the completion of the project, the four installments were timely provided by God through prayers.
In 1997, from July 8 to October 24, during the rainy season in the south of Liaoning, the project was carried out as normal, as there was basically no rain.
On October 24, 1997, the congregation celebrated the completion of Huolongzhai Church, the first one in Dalongling Village.
(The article is originally published by Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Abigail Wu