In conjuction with Si Chuan’s earthquake 1 year anniversary, HISTEAM entrusted me to go to the disaster area to pay a visit as well as to follow-up with the reconstruction project subsidised by Malaysia Chinese Churches through HISTEAM. Within that short 3 days stay in Chengdu, my family and I visited two main beneficiaries, which are “The China Christian Action Love Association” (located in Mianyang County) and “The Chengdu Loving China Rehabilitation Hospital” (located in Pi County).
Return to Sichuan after a year, we witnessed how Chinese come together in unity with strong determination to rebuild their home. Added to it, they also receive overflowing shower of blessing from all over the world. The Chinese government have set aside every May 12 as “National Disaster Prevention Day”. The first disaster prevention’s white paper was issued by the state council during the Wen Chuan earthquake 1st anniversary. According to the paper, China has received various types of donations within and outside of its region amounted to nearly 76 billion RMB. More than 13 million Chinese people from various sectors such as public, enterprises, both local and foreign volunteers have participated in the earthquake relief. Based on the local church estimation, the local and foreign Christian volunteers in Wenchuan is about 100-200 thousand people. As for the volunteers that remained in Sichuan Province during the Spring Festival in 2009, more than 90% of them are Christian. During the earthquake, the underground churches were forced to emerge to actively participate in the society to practice their faith. Due to this, it has becomes a large-scale public event. The establishment of Christian NGOs is the natural result when the churches are willing to step up and take the social responsibility plate towards the society. Although there were problems occurred in managing the disaster fund and relationship in some ministry teams, I believe that to participate in the community rebuilding is an inevitable challenge for Chinese Churches that want to mature.
When we speak with the front line Christian workers, we were touched to by their sacrifice to leave everything behind, stay and serve there. Till today, many of them from underground churches have never leaved the disaster area. Under the banner of love, they moved deep into the disaster zone empty handed yet in high spirit and with the mindset of never give up. This is truly an admirable attitude. Therefore, we urge the Malaysian Churches to continuously support them with prayers and contributions, so that the front line workers can carry on with more victorious testimonies for Christ. The Wenchuan’s Earthquake is truly an opportunity for Chinese Churches to go into the people, to care for their neighbours and to transform the society. Pray that earthquake relief works can be the platform for Chinese Churches to work and partner together in unity. This “trial” can also become a platform that enables them to serve one another in a more mutual way. Besides, each Christian volunteer represents a relay runner at the disaster zone. If each of us serves our Lord selflessly, we will witness tremendous growth of the Kingdom in the long run.