Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hailaer Church 

When I was up in the village before I went to Manzhouli, I met a couple ladies who told me there was a family church in the village that they went to. But they didn't exactly invite me. They also told me there were some Russian Orthodox family churches. As I mentioned earlier (see July 27th), when I arrived in Manzhouli, I visited a large church there, only to find that it was a fake church. So by the time I got here to Hailaer, I had all but despaired of finding a church on this summer trip. Before I got ot Hailaer, I did a search on Youtube and found a video of a church in Hailaer. I took a snapshot of the video, put it on my Android phone and showed it to the taxi driver this morning. He took me right to the place. I had assumed that this was a Three-self church, but the pastor insisted that it was not. So I really don't know exactly how it gets to be here, because it is pretty big for a family church, especially in the countryside. House churches used to have to meet in secret, but now the government pretty much looks the other way unless the fellowship is pretty big. But "pretty big" is interpretive. It depends on so many things--what part of China, whether it is an urban or rural community, the number of Christians in the surrounding community (indicating the level of demand), and so on.

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