I'm always saddened when I come across an abandoned church. I imagine the times when there were vibrant celebrations and then wonder why the community disappeared.
In this scene, I stand with Fathers Li Xiaoguo, Li Guanxue, and Li Jinlong before the abandoned church and school in Mahuang Village, Moudao County. We first lamented over the loss of this church, which was closed around 1950. We prayed for the souls of the religious and laity who served this community, vowing that their work was not to be in vain. Father Li Xiaoguo then led us in prayer to strengthen our resolve to share the faith. This cheered us up, knowing God has his own plans for the renewal of the faith.
We worked our way through the village and tracked down the only three remaining elders who were baptized. We invited them and their families to visit the church in Hualing Village in Lichuan, the closest nearby church. Even though it's a challenging trip that takes nearly a half day through the curvy and mountainous roads to get to Lichuan, parish priest Li Jinlong promised them a warm welcome.
For more photos from Father Li Xiaoguo's and my travels through the region on this trip, please visit the Explore the Area page.