On the average, $2000 is enough to build a meeting place that will accommodate about 100 believers. We have already completed over 50 building projects and the Christians have been thrilled to worship in their own buildings. Your generous contributions to East Gates continues to be a blessing to he Body of Christ in China.
Our China-based staff has the privilege of traveling all across China fellowshipping with believers. As they have gone into the more remote areas of China, they have been struck by the poverty and humbled by the great faith of believers living under difficult conditions. One Chinese believer shared with our China staff members:
"The gospel is growing in our small village. The believers now number about 100 but we still meet in living rooms which are very cramped. A meeting place would allow us to shine a brighter light in our village."
A continuing need for believers in rural areas is for basic meeting places to worship. They would also like a church for performing weddings and funerals that would be a witness to their entire village. Much of what is provided now is through the sacrificial gifts of Chinese Christians giving out of their humble means. In 1998 East Gates began a new project to aid them in building meeting places. In most cases, land and materials are inexpensive and local church members provide all of the labor.
A Poor Village in Shanxi Province
In Shanxi Province, East Gates was able to help a small village community purchase the best building in the village so it could have a more comfortable place to worship. For the longest time, church members were meeting in the 10' x 12' living quarters of their pastor's home. As the church began to grow, conditions became more crowded. By assisting the church members in buying this new building, everyone is able to meet and fellowship together.
The Largest Church in Huaian, Jiangsu Province
Ned Graham's mother, Ruth Bell Graham, was born in the city of Huaian, in Jiangsu Province, where her father, Dr. L. Nelson Bell, served as a surgical missionary. East Gates has had the privilege of assisting in the building of the largest church in Huaian. It was completed around April 2000 and seats over 4000 worshippers. It is considered one of the largest churches in China and built in honor of Dr. L. Nelson Bell.
As Christianity spreads across China, it is having a positive impact on local communities. The Vice-Mayor of Huaian, Xi Tie Nan, is one of those individuals who has seen the benefits of the Christian presence in his growing urban community. On November 1999, Ned Graham was invited to meet with Xi Tie Nan, in San Francisco. Also present at the meeting was the Mayor's 22-year old son who had recently become a Christian while attending the University of Utah. The Vice-Mayor explained how in the Huaian church building planning process, he had personally assisted in locating and acquiring the church property. He went on to share how he sees Christians as becoming a great asset to Chinese society. He expressed his gratitude to East Gates and the Graham family for their many contributions to the church in Huaian and China.
Rebuilding, Equipping, Restoring...
East Gates receives requests every week for help in rebuilding, equipping or restoring churches and/or meeting points in China. Shown here are just a few of the many churches we have assisted or are assisting at this time.
We help the areas with the greatest needs first. Our staff travels to the church location and meets with the church pastor or church leader(s) to discuss the most cost-effective way to assist them. Sometimes, the church merely needs additional funds to finish what they've already started. In other cases, believers need us to assist them in purchasing a piece of property to build an annex to their existing facility. Labor is never usually a problem since the pastor and members are always more than willing to wholeheartedly invest their time and resources in making their sanctuary a warm and inviting place to worship.
As you can see, the inside of many meeting places are also in great need of chairs, podiums, tables and simple equipment (i.e. microphones, tape players,speakers) to facilitate and enhance their time of worship.
If you would like to assist in this critical area, please contact us. Helping to create a more conducive environment for our brothers and sisters in China to worship will only help accommodate more newcomers and believers, thereby assisting in the growth of the Body of Christ in China!
Starting a building projectChurch interiors need much workSometimes refurbishing is all that's needed.Chinese believers don't need much comfort to worship.We help restore church facilities after a natural disasterFor small costs, much can be provided to meet church needs.