Sunday, June 28: Worship and More
by Vance Whippo
This day we shared the Word with our brothers and sisters in Nanjing.
We have traveled far and been graced by our Christian brothers and sisters, preparing the way for us to learn and grow. Today, Sunday the 28th of June, we worshiped with the Christians of Nanjing. Though the language was different the meaning was the same: our Lord and Savior died for us that we might have a place in God’s house.
We woke early and showed up in the lobby of our hotel where we were greeted by Rev. Chen Xiangshen, associate general secretary of the Jiangsu Provincial Christian Council, a very kind and pleasant new friend. He escorted us to the church were we were met by Rev. Fan Lei and Rev. Zhao Zhi’en, the preacher for the day. They offered us water and prepared us for the church service. We may not have been able to understand the words, but the meaning was clear as the service progressed and we felt at home with these lovely people. After the service, we were invited to tour the church and the rest of the building. The church has about 5,000 members with seven services on Sunday. 300 volunteers serve in five ministry areas. They celebrate baptism twice yearly and baptized 110 new believers last Sunday. The church is lovely and the people joyful. They were excited to greet us and take pictures with us, just as we were to take pictures with them.
Next, we traveled to the tomb and monument of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the first president and founding father of the Republic of China. The tomb and monument are situated at the top of a hill overlooking Nanjing, with views of the hills and valleys. Access to the tomb is by climbing 392 steps representing the nine bows and the three prostrations which would be made to an emperor, which Sun Yat-sen was not and surely would have never wanted. The building roofs are a purple/blue indicating his importance. China was a nation only for a short time before the communist party took over and Nanjing was no longer the capital.
Our final stop for the day was the Nanjing Massacre Museum, which was very solemn and brought tears to our eyes. It made us realize how the relations we are now making with the Christian Church in China are so important. Christians are Christians no matter were they are and have similar needs and desires. It is important to seek how our mutual love of Jesus and each other can resolve misunderstandings and lead to peace between nations.
Vance Whippo for the team