While China is one country that values its elderly there is an increasing trend for the younger generation to abandon this value. The lure of high-paying jobs in major cities draws most young people away from their traditional responsibilities of taking care of their older family members. In light of this trend more churches in China have been led to do something about caring for the elderly. Many are constructing Christian senior homes to curb the trend. In doing so, Christian leaders refer back to the command in scripture to take care of the least of these (Matt. 25:40).
It was no surprise for Erik Burklin, president of China Partner (Littleton, CO), to receive an invitation from Rev. Joseph Gu, senior pastor of Cong Yi Church, the largest church building in China, to attend the groundbreaking celebration of the second phase of the Christian Senior home in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province March 30, 2009. China Partner had made a donation in 2008 to help Cong Yi Church with this project.
“Today we have gathered to break ground for a new vision to become reality,” Burklin declared in his greeting to the 500 individuals attending the ceremonies. “May God honor and bless this project as you, the church of Jesus Christ, will love and serve the elderly in this community. By honoring them you are honoring God.”
The groundbreaking was attended by other Christian organizations as well, such as East Gates International lead by Ned Graham, youngest son of Dr. Billy Graham. Mr. Graham’s wife, representing her husband and father-in-law, gave a brief greeting on behalf of the late Ruth Bell Graham who died in 2007.
China Partner exists to serve the Church in China by training and equipping emerging Christian leaders; distributing theological study books, Christian literature and Study Bibles; assisting to establish new Bible schools, seminaries and churches; and educating Christians outside of mainland China about how to get involved with God’s work there. Since 1991, China Partner has conducted 53 pastoral training seminars - training over 4,000 Christian leaders - and distributed over 39,000 theological study books.
[Source: China Partner Press Release]