Author: Lindy Lowry
Chinese pastor from Wuhan: ‘The virus can’t stop us’
u likely didn’t physically worship with your church last weekend. And it seems like that won’t be happening again for a while. But for millions of our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, regular worship services have never been an option. Yet they find ways to still worship.
A powerful reminder to the Western Church that the church is not a building—but a community that follows the ways of Jesus. And that God is with us, wherever we are, working in unseen ways in the lives and hearts of His people. Throughout Scripture, we see how persecution and crisis compelled people to look at something differently, often for the bigger, Kingdom picture—through God’s eyes. Through our persecuted family, we see how prayer and thanksgiving give us new vision to see Him working in and through earthly events—even a global pandemic.
Pastor Huang Lei leads a church in China in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. As one of the few church leaders who stayed in Wuhan during the outbreak, Pastor Lei is talking about what he’s seen as a result. The crisis has forced him to look at things differently, with new vision. His church meets only online—and they’re learning to be the church, he says, instead of do church. Pastor Lei shares how the crisis is driving more prayer and deepening community. “The virus can’t stop us,” he says.
‘The epidemic hasn’t cut down our meetings.’
“First, we have more than 50 groups. Almost all the groups are meeting via internet. Praying, studying the Bible, sharing, witnessing, praising and worshiping. Among them, we have more than 30 groups that are spending two hours a day, from 7 am to 9 am, to pray, worship, share and testify together. That’s far more frequent than our normal meetings.
So the epidemic hasn’t cut down our meetings. It’s the opposite. And there’s 24-hour fasting and prayer. And we are doing an every-hour prayer as well. So I think after this, many of the brethren will be more willing to take part in the communication with other brethren. To encourage each other, and to share with each other.”
“Of course, now we have more free time, everybody is staying home, so that’s given us the chance to do this. But, we usually have the group meeting weekly, and now we’re doing this daily, sometimes even more. So we are very grateful for that. And we have heard that our elderly and disabled have been thankful to the Lord and are greatly encouraged by this opportunity for online meetings. Before this, they felt alienated, staying at home alone, like they’re abandoned. Now they cherish the connection between brethren more than ever. And they’re more connected. So bit by bit, they started to actively throw themselves into online pray meeting.
‘It’s bringing us closer than ever’
“As to the group leaders and deacons, we hold online meetings about twice a week. The deacons used to meet once a month, and now we have doubled it. I think it’s especially bringing us closer more than ever. We pray, share information, and make decisions together. The virus can’t stop us.
“And another thing is, we are praying with ministers in Wuhan twice a week mainly for prayer and information sharing. Other than that, we want to connect with ministers across China through this. So that’s the situation for now.