SHANDONG, CHINA — Fourteen years ago, Zhou Lingling’s church in Jining city needed a new home. They were not the only ones who needed better facilities for their church goers. When providence brought three church leaders together, they were inspired to pool their resources to build a church together.
A Leap of Faith
One of the leaders dedicated two and a half acres of his own land to the construction of the church, and the leaders of the three churches formed a church-building group. It was no easy task. They were severely short on funds, and each group leader had to take the lead to give RMB 1000. As the leader of her own church, it was Zhou’s responsibility to contribute as well. Unfortunately, her family had just finished building a new house and had no money to spare. “Though my husband and son were non-believers, they supported me a lot. My son borrowed the money from a friend and my husband also came to help build the church,” said Zhou. “I still cannot believe it to this day.”
Building the church came with its many challenges. Halfway through the construction of the church, they ran into some difficulties with the authorities on the building construction. “We prayed and then went to see the authorities. When the authorities heard how many Christians had donated to the church, they were moved and subsequently allowed the work to continue” said Zhou.
Building in Unity
With renewed fervour, the believers banded together to finish the church. Some brought food like bread and steamed buns. Some came with building materials and donations while others provided free labour. And this is how the church rallied in unity and completed most of the building by themselves.
“All of the materials we used were brought in by our own fellow believers, and we shed tears of gratitude,” Zhou shared. Construction started at the beginning of 2007 and was completed in April of the same year.
Looking back in amazement, Zhou reflects: “Most of us are illiterate, both young and old. Yet He lifted us up and used us to build this House for him. It’s just as the Bible says: ‘…for my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV).”
Story: Lydia Zhang and Matthew Loh
Photos: UBS CP
2020 © United Bible Societies China Partnership