After a nice buffet breakfast, we drove a few miles through heavy AM rush hour traffic in search of an easy access to the Dong Guan Church. It was built in 1917 by Mennonite missionaries and for the next several years served as the “mother church” of missionary work in the area. We were met by several elderly ladies who welcomed us by singing in Chinese “Silent Night” and in English, “Amazing Grace”.
Our final stop of the morning was at a large new church. Built in 2003, this structure has sanctuary seating for perhaps 1,000. We were welcomed by Madam Zhang Yan Min, one of the church pastors, and five young woman singing hymns around a magnificent new grand. In response to an invitation from the singing ladies of Mu En, our group reciprocated by a nice rendition of the “606”—the “Praise God” closing song in many US services today. Following the visit to the sanctuary, we were invited to a warm meeting room for some snacks and additional briefing about the Mu En Church.
This was the day we would make a round trip to/from Daming, about 50 miles away, and the site where the W.C. Voth famly served as Mennonnite missionaries in the mid-1920s.
We arrived in Daming some 50 miles away at 10 AM and proceeded directly to the complex housing the former Mennonite mission. There we met Messrs. Li Da Qing, General Secretary of the church, and Zhang Bo Sheng, a church spokesman. Nearby was a large red-brick church built in the past few years, but now used largely as a Christian training center with some 60 local residents in regular attendance. More than 30 “Bible training classes” have been held at this church since its return. In a corner of the complex we viewed the “memory stones” of the three toddlers who died in Puyang, viz., children of the Voths, the Browns and the Kuaffmans. We were told that Daming County now has some 10,000 Christians who meet regularly in 47 “prayer points” around the county.
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