China (MNN) — A worldwide
recession interrupted China's economic growth, but there's a fierce recovery
Erik Burklin with China Partner says
it has taken its toll on families. In
traditional Chinese society, the elderly used to live with one of their
children. But today, young people live with their parents because they cannot
afford a place of their own. According to China Daily, the population of the
elderly (60 or older) in China is about 128 million or one in every ten people–the largest in the world.
Experts say family-based care is
now impractical. "More and more young people are leaving their villages
and their smaller cities for the large cities seeking better employment, making
a lot of money," explains Burklin. "As a result of that, the traditional
'family values' of adult children taking care of the elderly family members is
falling by the wayside."
In Hangzhou, Christians responded
by building the Hangzhou Christian Senior Home for them. Not only a community center, it's also a
senior home and serves as a church on weekends.
Groundbreaking for the second
phase was March 30. The senior home's
first phase is complete and already houses between 60 and 70 senior
Staff will provide care and
ministry for the elderly. Several years
ago, Reverend Joseph Gu shared his dream of building a Christian senior home
next to the church with China Partner's founder, Dr. Werner Berklin.
The "Senior Project"
has been ongoing, supported by China Partner for practical reasons and for
ministry reasons. Burklin says, "Sharing
your faith openly is still not very much allowed by the government, but how
they do share their faith is through the way they live. In this particular
case, they take care of the needy and the elderly. That speaks volumes to the community."
Pray that God will provide for
this ministry. Pray too that the staff would be the hands
and feet of Christ to those they're serving, and that as a result, hearts
would be open to the hope of Christ. Click here if you can help.