Seeing Beyond the Impossible
BUILDING AND EQUIPPING CHURCHES
For over 25 years, our East Gates staff has had the privilege of traveling throughout China distributing Bibles, training, and ministering to peoples’ needs. On these journeys, they’ve been struck by the immense poverty of so many fellow brothers and sisters yet humbled by their great faith and joy despite difficult conditions.
When you meet faces like these in the midst of abject poverty, you know they’ve become the temple of the Living God. They hold a secret that the world desires but cannot grasp. They’ve learned how to be content in whatever state they’re in and JoyFULL.
Despite their humble existence, God uses us to improve their living conditions, especially church or meeting place. They don’t need a cafe latte bar, gymnasium, wedding chapel or acre-large parking lot like a lot of large Western mega churches; but a heater for winter, more comfortable seats, sealed windows, proper lighting, and more space would be a good start.
Focused training sessions are broken up with wonderful meals. Oftentimes, some of the greatest moments are the ones shared around a table where we can pray and dialogue about the substantive things in life in a more casual atmosphere.
East Gates steps in so locals can step up
A number of years ago, Chinese believers in Shanxi Province informed us that they had a need. They were meeting in their pastor’s home, sitting on the family’s kang or bed-stove. This large concrete pad, with an interior cavity below used to stoke coals, kept them warm during the winter but as more villagers started attending, space became tight. As a result, we helped the House church buy the largest building in the village. Soon, it became their church and community center.
Crowded village church members sitting on the pastor’s kang or bed-stove during church services.
It took many modes of transportation to get to this remote village church!
Families depend on a local villager to walk to the nearest water hole 2 km. away to fill an oil drum for their daily needs.
East Gates’ helped the local church members buy the largest and nicest building in their village so it could accommodate more church members and become their community center.
the gaoshan mountain church project
Located in the beautiful Nujiang-Gaoshan Mountain Range, on the border of Yunnan, China and Myanmar, are hundreds of House churches and meeting points. One in particular stands out. The Nujiang Church.
Whatever Chinese builders conceive, they can build. The local believers wanted their church to sit on one of the highest points in the area. Once the location was chosen, nothing held them back. A resident, Christian female architect drew up the plans and a local contractor managed the project. As you will see, safety codes were relative.
Building the steeple.
The church members and locals worked morning, noon and night.
One could say the Nujiang Church members had a great vision and mission. It was a “family affair” and not for the faint-hearted. Young and old took part and enjoyed the process as each day they could see their goal transforming before their very eyes.
In the spirit of the Psalms of Ascent, like the pilgrims who trekked up to the temple in Jerusalem, the Chinese believers in this area take great pride in their new sanctuary. They say, “It’s the House that God built.” Their voices that now sing out in praise, echo throughout the mountain tops. East Gates was humbled to have been a part of this noble project.
“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.
Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain”
East Gates receives regular requests for help to rebuild, equip or restore churches. 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.
As you can see, many churches in the rural areas need assistance to improve their conditions. Some are due to sheer poverty. Others are from natural disasters.
Labor is never usually a problem since the members are always more than willing to wholeheartedly invest their time and resources in building or renovating their sanctuary. A good example is this church in Yunnan Province. All they needed was a ministry like East Gates to help subsidize their project.
In Yunnan Province, the whole congregation helps to renovate their church.
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!