This article, translated from the website kuanye, reports on the opening of a church for the blind in the city of Shenyang, in Chinas northeastern Liaoning Province.
On September 21, 2012 Guangming Church, an affiliate of Shashan Church in Shenyang, officially opened China's first church for the blind. Its vision is to establish a church aimed at serving the blind, a church without "blindness."
Those invited to attend the churchs dedication ceremony included pastor Wu Mingfeng, chair and president of Shenyangs Three Self Church and Chinese Christian Council, Pastor Lin of Shenyangs Church for the Hearing and Speech Impaired and Brother Zhao, a representative of the Shenyang Society for the Blind. Additionally, members of the online blind community The Light of God as well as members of Shashan church were also on hand to participate in the event and experienced the unique love and compassion God has for the blind and thus light up the lives of the blind.
During the service Pastor Wu Mingfeng delivered a sermon in which he expressed congratulations on the founding of Guangming Church and gave glory to God. Pastor Wu also exhorted those in attendance that in whatever we do we must learn to first of all conduct ourselves rightly. As God has filled us with the Holy Spirit and truth, his desire is for us to become people set apart from the world. Furthermore, he stressed that in God we are more than equal to any task we may encounter. Isaac did not suffer much because he was fully obedient before God. Therefore, we should grow in closeness to our Lord and in this way will surely inherit Gods blessings both spiritually and materially.
Pastor Lin of Shenyang's Church for the Hearing and Speech Impaired said: "As a pastor working for the handicapped, I feel very honored to be here. It is obvious from the love and dedication of the pastors as well as the members of Shashan church that the blind community of Shenyang is truly blessed. I would also like to say a word to the handicapped brothers and sisters: The fact that our bodies have some flaws is not important. We have ears to listen, yet only when we open the ears of our hearts can we hear God's word. Our physical deficiency is not an obstacle to following God, but rather a means that enables us to know God more deeply. I am confident that the brothers and sisters of Guangming have already received the light of life. May Guangming become a blessing to Shenyang and all of China.
The Shenyang Society for the Blind representative Brother Zhao also offered his congratulations in a speech saying: "The gospel has spread extensively among the blind community. Church services for the blind have grown from small meeting points to a Christian association, and now today they finally have their own church. During this process the diligence of pastors and laypersons alike has been evident as well as the continuous perseverance of the blind community. If a church has faith, there is nothing it cannot accomplish. Today is a perfect example. Love can be compared to a warm spring breeze, which blows open the closed heart. Love has reached out its hand of support and enabled all of us to move forward together. May the establishment of this church be a turning point helping all of us to love one another more."
Today in Shashan Church God has lit the first fire. Through this fire, may He establish more churches for the blind and bring the light of the gospel into more lives within the blind community. May our Lord greatly bless Shashans Guangming Church for the Blind.
Original article (and image source): 中国第一间盲人礼拜堂在沈阳成立
Image credit: Braille Bokeh, by Melissa, via Flickr