Sunday, October 20: Hangzhou
Today was a remarkable day of worship, fellowship and good eating. We traveled by bus to The Chongyi church in the city of Hangzhou with our trusty driver, Mr. Tao and arrived at 9:30 for 10 AM worship. The church is a magnificent structure built approximately nine years ago. It is modern, uses three crosses in the architecture, red on the front, white inside the sanctuary and gold on the highest roof point. It is shaped like an ancient tent to show that we are only temporary in this life and really transient on our way to Glory. Associate Pastor Chung met us in a private reception room before we went into worship. I estimate there were 3 to 4,000 present for worship.
The music was generally contemporary with three instrumentalists and ten voices. The sermon was given by a guest pastor from the region. The sermon was about 45 minutes in length and the entire service lasted 1-1/2 hours. The spirit of worship was very strong, the music very good and the preaching direct and biblical. The entire service was in Mandarin but we were provided with receivers and an English translator. Pastor Chung and Lay Leader Lu, who spoke good English were our hosts in a private room in the church for lunch.
This afternoon we visited the Agape Hospital and nursing home on the outskirts of Hangzhou. They serve about 400 nursing home patients and the hospital has 20 beds. They have a hospice unit in the facility. They are a Christian operation which is unique in China doing this kind of ministry. The staff is very dedicated and the doctors work at a wage far below what they could earn in a large government hospital. For them it is a ministry. Dr. Yung was our host. We had a very productive, informative and sometimes intense discussion with her. PTL, they need our prayers. Heavy traffic in the city meant that we had to return directly to the church to prepare for dinner.
The senior pastor at Chongyi, Pastor Gu was our host for dinner, The dinner was spectacular! The lazy Susan was at least ten feet in diameter and served everyone efficiently again.
There was no end of food: fish, chicken, shrimp, octopus, special rolls and pastries, all kinds of vegetables, abalone soup, egg drop soup, beef, pork, shitake mushrooms in plum sauce, and the list goes on. Richard Bird presented Pastor Gu with a copy of Janie’s book on NC. We were fully sated.
It is difficult to comprehend the zeal, growth and dedication of the church in China. We have learned much about the way the Lord is working among the people here. The spirit of friendliness towards us was overwhelming. We were fully accepted and welcomed in their worship and everywhere we went. Everywhere we go, the only request we hear is, “Please pray for us”. We surely will.
Blessings from the China Heritage Team