The Luzhou Protestant Church: Renovation Project in Full Swing, Almost Completed

(This post was created the first week of December. More information yet to come. I’ve been blocked from my Word Press account until today! Whew. Nice to be back with you all.)

New roof, plastering and repainting of walls, installing fancy light fixtures, adding office space and updating toilet facilities – The pictures I received of renovations taking place in Luzhou’s 1913 Protestant church were quite the project. 

The last time this was done was in 2003 and took 3 months to complete.  When I heard of the current changes, my greatest concern was the destruction of the original 110-year-old Christian-influenced design on the front wall of the sanctuary. But in the photos Pastor Liao sent to me, I see parishioner members are just as nostalgic as I in keeping the history of the church intact as well as the memory of the Canadian Methodist missionaries who founded it. 

Below find the sanctuary in black-and-white from 1913, and then 2020, right before I left, with the same floral design on the front-wall worship center as 109 years before.

And here below, the updating. What a mess!

I asked when completion of this project was expected and she gave me a 1-week time frame.  In the meantime, there is a larger open area on the 3rd floor of the adjacent Luzhou Gospel Hospital which might be designated as the alternative site for church activities.  In 2003, when a more extensive 3-month project took place,  people brought plastic stools and scrunched together to continue Sunday services in that space.  I remember it was a tight squeeze for over 300 but we made it.   

Since only 1 week of construction for this latest updating , it might be different plans have been made. Here below is what the new additions to the present building will look like, along with an upscaling of the Luzhou Gospel Hospital next to it.

Luzhou Plans

I did ask about the cost, if money was still needed or if donations were allowed.  I would like to help if I can.  Pastor Liao’s response was a hefty 400,000 yuan ($58,000 US) but her main concern regarded donation giving for the new church fund. 

There is a second, new church complex which has been in the works for over 5 years now in another part of town.  The Amity Foundation set up a fund for this where Chinese donors can send money via the organization’s website specifically for that project.  Pastor Liao mentioned “millions” still being needed to continue construction for the 3-building complex:  1) Church   2) Christian Education Center, with dormitories and classrooms being used for lay leader training and continuing education of pastors and church leaders  3) New and improved Luzhou Gospel Hospital.

These plans were drawn up 5 years ago, with the digging-the-foundation photo having been taken in November of 2019.  I don’t think much has been done since then, due to Covid lockdowns, and also due to a faltering fundraising drive.  The millions needed just haven’t come in.

Today’s Updates:  For the New Year, 2023

During the month of December, so many changes happened in China:  Zero-Covid policy was suddenly abolished; Covid spread like wildfire and continues to do so; Church services are now online and not in person due to the virus infection rate ripping throughout the country; January 8 opening date for China with no more quarantine required for those entering the country; Schools all going online and not in person because of so many getting sick; the Chinese New Year holidays approaching, from January 22 to Feb. 6.

I will report about my hoped-for China return in a few days.  I’ll be hearing soon from China’s Amity Foundation, my sponsoring agency, this week.  Be watching this space for exciting news, I hope!

And Happy New Year, everyone!

About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
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1 Response to The Luzhou Protestant Church: Renovation Project in Full Swing, Almost Completed

  1. Jean Marsh says:

    Thank you for sharing this update. Sometimes we build more than we can support. Good to know now rather than fifty years later. Prayers for COVID issues and for your situation. One blessing in this is time with your mom. Thankful you can continue supporting your ministry efforts in the US. A foundation for your future endeavors. 🌺

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