For most of the world, the COVID-19 crisis is still ramping up. But in its place of origin, its influence seems to be dying away. That came in part because of China’s quick response.
“As soon as China came down with this COVID virus, and as it was starting to spread, they shut everything down,” says Erik Burklin of China Partner.
Stepping up to the plate
When China shut down, churches jumped into action. Pastors used social networking and internet resources to share sermons, minister to their neighbors, and continue discipleship efforts with members of their communities.
In fact, some of China Partner’s contacts actually saw an increase in impact. “Church leadership was not only serving their own church communities, but also their local communities by helping delivering food for the poor and buying groceries,” Burklin says. “The church continued to do its work. They were ministering to each other, they were ministering to their local communities. That’s what we saw.”
Fortunately, most of China Partner’s contacts remained symptom-free. Most people they knew who did contract the virus recovered within a week or two.
“We have one pastor that we have a very close relationship with out of Wuhan who is also the president of the local seminary there, and he had been hospitalized for almost a month and almost passed away,” Burklin reports. “But then, through God’s grace and healing power, he was released from the hospital two weeks ago.”
As the virus dies, hope grows. Cities are reopening. Students are heading back to school. Although churches aren’t all allowed to open up again, they are making preparations.
What’s more, many of their newfound digital connection techniques may persist past the virus’s influence. Burklin thinks it may provide churches with an opportunity to connect with more young people in their communities, a demographic the Chinese Church sometimes struggles to draw in.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for recovering China as they move out of this COVID-19 crisis.
- Ask God to protect China Partner as they struggle through financial difficulties.
- Thank Him for the way Chinese believers rose to the occasion.