On Saturday, Chinese Christian Mission (CCM) opened a new bookroom in Chinatown. An exhibition of hundreds of Christian literature was displayed as the residents of Chinatown flocked to attend its opening ceremony. CCM general secretary Paul Chan said that the new bookroom would help the believers in Chinatown to develop a culture of reading and deeper roots in the Scriptures.
The day began with an exhibition books featured from prominent Chinese Christian authors. Rev. Johnny Wang and Mrs. Cecilia Yau were among the authors who were invited to the event. Residents throughout Chinatown crowded to the bookroom starting from 10:30am in the morning to witness the event. When time came for the opening ceremonies, the room was filled from the seats to the walls and the main entrance. About 70 attendants gathered at the Chinatown bookroom opening.
Around noon, the staff quickly rearranged the main hall by shifting book displays and installing seats to prepare for the opening service. As the crowd seated, Dr. Abraham Law, Director of CCM San Francisco branch, came out and presided the invocation. Founder of CCM Rev. Thomas Wang and senior pastor of San Francisco Cumberland Church Rev. Lawrence Fung were present at the service and gave prayer and words of blessing.
During the service, Rev. Chan gave a short reflection on the opening of the bookroom. Referring to his favorite author Josh Whitefield, he said that he was inspired by the author because of his persistence to record his own journal despite heavy opposition from the Presbyterians during the Reformation. Whitefield saw the importance of recording through the making of the Bible, that those who were persecuted before him did not waver but courageously recorded their journeys and testimonies. Whitefield’s journals later left a lasting impression among Christians worldwide.
Rev. Chan indicated through Whitefield’s achievement how important books and recordings are. He said that many believers, although they may have passion for God, yet their reading skills are lacking. He gave an example of a passionate brother who attended every CCM event, and was very diligent in listening to sermons, but he would not read the Bible on his own. The problem is widespread among many of the newly immigrated Chinese in Chinatown; although passion is high among believers, their spiritual roots are not deep. Thus, Rev. Chan said that the bookroom would serve in Chinatown as a location to train believers to develop reading habits.
He also commented that Harry Potter has been popular among the younger generation. Therefore, it does not mean that the younger generations don’t read books, rather the books has to improve to suit the new generations. By developing better journals and apologetics, bookrooms and Internet will be important channels to capture the young generation of today.
Other features of the service included a musical tribute and a gift drawing at the end which ranged from giving sunglasses to plane tickets. Afterwards, Authors Rev. Johnny Wang and Mrs. Cecilia Yau were available for signatures for thrilled visitors and book buyers.
Coordinator Fiona was available for interview after the event, and he told our reporter that the bookroom took nine months to prepare. At first there were not enough volunteers to help, and creating the inventory was a huge burden, so one-step at a time the built the bookroom: logistics, setting up book orders, etc. The budget for the bookroom was stringent as well.
She said that she thank God for the completion of the bookroom. That even up until the last minute there were things that would have prevented the opening from being held on schedule. Yet People prayed for us, and God allowed everything to work.
She hopes that the bookroom would help many Christians in the local area. She said that there are not many bookrooms in the Bay Area, so she wish that the bookroom in Chinatown may attract many non-believers as a channel to reach out the gospel to them.