Seeing Beyond the Impossible
East Gates believes that in God’s economy, one has invaluable worth. There is nothing under heaven and on earth that God does not see or is not aware of (Matt.10:29). The nature of God is such that if He will look for the one lost sheep that wanders from the midst of 99 others (Matt.18:12), how much more will He search and rescue those who are created in His image?
Like an archaeological till in which we go excavating for lost treasures, over the years, all of us have had layers of “dirt” piled on top of us that have covered our true selves. Only God has the purity of heart to see whom we are beneath it all. At the foundation, we are all made in His Image (Gen.1:26). We’re all made from “God-genes.” Therefore, we all have eternal worth despite how the world views us. That is why we take Isaiah 61:1 seriously and we treat others with this reality in mind.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
good news to the poor
China’s gap between rich and poor continues to increase. Farmers and peasants in the rural areas are forced to move into the cities to find work with higher income. This transition is not easy. As a result, like many other nations, the homeless are a common part of the urban landscape these days.
East Gates partners with a vagrant ministry located near Ningbo, Zhejiang Province to attend to the many homeless. We work with their different situations which may include providing them shelter, food or funds to help them get started with finding employment in the countryside or city.
The most important message we share with them is, regardless of their past or present situation, they are a child of God and therefore, never homeless. We help them understand the instruction book for humanity - the Bible, so they can become the “new man” and “new woman” they were destined to be. We help them develop their true identity through personal counseling, Bibles studies, and workshops.
"...be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."
Bible studies for the homeless.
In the countryside, the vagrant ministry provides a small farm in which the homeless can develop practical
skills and learn how to sustain themselves and others in a commune-type setting.
By 2050, China’s elderly population will have nearly tripled since 2005 and be about the size of the U.S. population or 320 million. As life spans increase and more citizens retire than enter the workforce, China has a large socio-economic problem on its hands. China has many orphanages for the children but never did one thing that one would need an orphanage for the elderly. That is proving to be the case these days.
The Chinese used to be the model example of the extended family whereby the younger generation would care for the older. This scenario is becoming more rare as many of the elderly have found themselves physically and emotionally abandoned or left to take care of themselves in China’s incredibly face-paced and consumer-based society. Once "grandma" or "grandpa" can no longer bring an income to the family, unfortunately, they’re oftentimes viewed as a burden, a liability versus an asset.
15 years ago, East Gates began work with indigenous Chinese Christians who had a heart to care for the quickly growing elderly population. We assisted them with the building of Christian elderly homes like this one in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province which was designed to hold 400 residents.
Today, these types of elderly care facilities are spreading throughout China. Many have waiting lines like this one in Qingdao, Shandong Province.
Chinese Christians prepare food around the clock for the many residents.
The demographic changes are also reflected in the Chinese churches. The elderly make up the majority of many small home churches in the city and villages. They love their community of faith and find many ways they can serve.
In the Yaolin, Zhejiang Province church, the elderly find many ways they can use their gifts and talents.
Many feel they’re part of a larger loving family they've never had.
They love Bible studies and making the most of their golden years to prepare for the world to come.
We discovered one day, that this precious old man sat outside a crowded church listening to the sermon. God’s eternal words of hope, love, and affirmation resonate with him.
Many elderly Bible studies are held on Wednesday mornings and they’re well attended throughout all seasons of the year. Younger family members sometimes accompany them.
In our travels throughout China, our staff always find time to spend time with those whom Isaiah 61:1-3 says will one day be "oaks of righteousness and a display of God’s splendor."
Please consider partnering with us in the much-needed area! Your gift will definitely be a gift that keeps on giving on into eternity!