Gospel Seed Plant by the Swedish Missionary in the South of Wei River- Yin Family Gospel Church

the Yin Family Gospel Church
1/2the Yin Family Gospel Church(photo: Photo provided to CCD)
the Yin Family Gospel Church
2/2the Yin Family Gospel Church(photo: Photo provided to CCD)
By Yan NanAugust 22nd, 2016

I was born in Yin(银, means Silver) Family Village at the very northern part of Linwei, Weinan. The place is adjacent to Bainiao Village nearby. Interestingly, eighty percent of the village people have Yin as their surname here. It is said that their ancestors have moved from Hongdong, Shanxi Province to this place. For me, my great- grandfather and other relatives have moved over there but after some time, my grandfather and his four brothers were all separated to settle down elsewhere.

When the whole family still stayed together in Yin Family Village, my great- grandfather and his brothers gave special names to the different part of their houses that each of the sub- family stayed in. My great-grandfather named his house as Five Blessings, expressing wishes for the family to gain blessings, prosperity and longevity.

The history of Christianity in our Yin Family shall be traced back to the year 1926. In that year, believers from Sweden started to establish a mission institution, namely Qinjingyu Faith Association , which catered to the spiritual needs of the mainland Chinese. The headquarter was in Yuncheng, Shanxi Province, established for outreach to counties in the west-southern part of Jiangxi, west of Henan, east of Shanxi etc. There were sub-association branched out from the headquarter in various towns and villages. According to a top-down structure, various associations comprise a committee formed by pastors, church elders and believers. Branched out from the committees, there were tent-making evangelistic groups, women's outreach association, Spring Gospel Rally, which served to push forth the ministry work. In 1911, the Swedish pastor namely, Hu Linde came to Pucheng and established Pucheng Church. Its church has been very pro-active in service. Afterwards, there has been a total number of 8 churches and 20 worship points near Pucheng, Baishui, Xiaoyi etc. In 1928, Ruihua Church was renamed as Shanxi Faith Church.

Yin Family's church used to be a chapel for Sunday worship as part of Pucheng Church. Initially, Pucheng Church was served by tent-making preachers . My grandfather Yin Yuanji as well as fellow village friends Yin Delong and Zhang Xincai first accepted Christ. In 1934, as the fellow village friend sold his house and village foundation, others also followed suit to contribute to church building fund. My grandfather Yinyuan pocketed out 80 Yuan, the Swedish pastor Hu Linde 160 Yuan together with 120 Yuan donated by a Christian called Yin Delong, they established Yin Family's Church, as managed by Pucheng Church.

Soon, my grandfather Hu Delin was appointed as the church elder. As he found himself lack of biblical knowledge for the role, he requested to study in a bible school in Hongdong Bible School in Shanxi. However, as he found the learning there too insufficient for his hunger, he went over to Niekou Bibe School in Hubei Province. In the meanwhile, my grand-grandfather passed away, laying tremendous stress upon the whole family. Thus, it was a difficult time for the entire family especially when my grandfather was always away from home. My grand-grandmother is a strong woman, who singlehandedly picked up family responsibilities to grow crops and do hard labour in order to raise a living for the rest of the family members. Throughout all 15 years that my grandfather was away studying or involved in the war, my great-grandmother was always worried about his safety and situation in life.

While studying in the bible school, my grandfather once went outside for an outing with his schoolmate. His schoolmate just bought a new camera, thus was excited to take many shots. However, a guard from the army found his action to be suspicious, thus brought both of them for an interrogation. At that time, the national armies were extremely cautious and the presence of spies from the Japanese armies was prevalent.

The consequence of being found out taking photos of the key military ground could be extremely severe. During the interrogation, my grandfather felt extremely powerless to convince the guard of his innocence. Thus, he prayed to God from within. Later on, the guard brought them to the head of the troop for the second round of negotiation. The head asked out of a sudden about their hometown. Upon knowing their hometown was the northern part of Weinan, Shanxi, the head suddenly toned down his voice and decided to release them. Obviously, God saved them through the origin of their hometown through this scary incidence with the army troop. As such, my grandfather's faith was further deepened through this miracle.

In 1938 upon Wuhan losing the battle, Niekou Bible School had to close the school and relocated to Hong Kong later on. My grandfather thus went back to Shanxi and got involved in the war against the Japanese army through devoting himself in the Christian service centre for the casualties during the war. This centre was later named by the national government as "Military Comminttee and Service Centre for the Casualties". My grandfather's main mission was to go to the front line, rescue casualties, bury corpse, arrange shelters and food for soldiers. His fellow church workers such as Pastor Wen Chaobo from Dali, Pastor Hongxuan from Sanyuan also helped him along the mission. Afterwards, he established shelters for casualties in various other regions including Fupingdao Town, Hanchengba Town, Jingnanhou Town in Shanxi Yingchi Village in Henan, Ynshi Town, Ludian Town, Lingbaoan Town. During the war, my grandfather used to be appointed as the secretary and assistant in the troop. Until 1945 when China gained victory over Japan, he left his posts and returned back to a private school and started to teach. Until 1949 when China had its reform, the school was closed and he went back home for farming.

My grandfather had his life full of ups and downs later on. During the Cultural Revolution, he was labelled as traitor during the unstoppable political movement. Harsh interrogation and torture await him as he had to go through "re-education programme" in the manger. Yin Family Gospel Church was confiscated by the state and was turned into a farm. Believers at that time had to worship only at home and paid a heavy price for their faith due to strong oppositions. All books stored at home were burned completely. Later on, my grandfather became such a silent man. He only managed to last through 70 years old.  

In the 80th century, the state finally re-draft its religion control policies. As such, Yin Family Gospel Church managed to resume its prior functions. The church, which was established by my grandfather through many years of hardships, finally resumed its vibrancy.

As for the churches in that regions, my uncle used to write in an article that there are seven churches in Linwei Region before the political liberation. Beitang Baptist Church was established by a English missionary who started out as a tent-maker but later on established his own church in Beitang. His church was once confiscated by the state but was rebuilt after the political reform as well.

That English missionary also established hospitals near the existing Jiefang Road. After the political liberation, the hospital was combined with three other private hospitals as a United Hospital. During the Cultural Revolution, United Hospital was named differently but now renamed as Hospital II in Weinan City.

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