Saturday, October 26: City of Jiangyin
The day was full and all arrangements were made by Pastor Mary and her staff at the Jiangyin Church. It was a day that afforded us a great deal of fellowship with Pastor Mary and her leadership team. We started with a great visit to the Jiangyin Peoples Hospital which is the descendant hospital from the one founded by Dr. George Worth, a Presbyterian missionary from Wilmington, NC, in 1908. Dr. Worth came to China from Wilmington in 1897. Director Fu, the third in command, was our host. We toured one of the floors, the ER and various other areas. The hospital has a staff of 400 doctors and 1200 nurses. It is a medium size hospital by China standards with1,800 beds. It is an impressive facility with modern equipment and a well trained staff. We can all feel very confident that what Dr. Worth founded has been carried on with great spirit in providing a high level of care for the Chinese people. There is an impressive bust of Dr. Worth in front of the hospital with a nice description in English and Chinese.
We next visited Pastor Mary’s church for fruit and drink. We had a good exchange and heard about the progress of the church at Jiangyin. Pastor Mary will be taking leave to return to the Jiangsu Seminary for advanced studies very soon. This was discussed briefly this morning and in greater detail later in the afternoon.
We had a wonderful lunch on the top floor of the Jiangyin International Hotel in the revolving dining room. It was great food and good fellowship in a very special restaurant. One of Pastor Mary’s members was our host. It was a wonderful view of the city.
On a sad note, Peter Lim’s grandfather in Singapore died suddenly yesterday. We joined in prayer and sorrow with Peter. He spent time away from the group this morning in conversation with family in Singapore. We extend our sympathy to him and his family.
After lunch, we set out to tour the partially constructed new international church which Pastor Mary and her congregation are building. They are in need of more funding and have temporarily suspended construction. They expect to complete the project and have a dedication within one year. They have invited us back for the celebration. We then visited the current training center which is in a building loaned to the church by the government until the new church is completed. We received beautiful commemorative gifts from the church staff. In this close meeting we felt a great sense of fellowship with Pastor Mary and all of her staff. She introduced each person personally and praised them all. It was as if she was telling us that "even if I am away at seminary, the operation of the church is in good hands".
Tonight we attended another excellent dinner with wonderful local food and good fellowship. Jiangyin sits on the banks of the Yangtze River and we were served fish and clams from the river. Our gracious host was Mr. Tan, Vice-Mayor of the city of Jiangyin. The city has an estimated population of 1.2 mm.
Altogether another meaningful day learning about the church in China and making new friends.
Blessings from The China Heritage Team