Christians in China’s underground church network returned a coronavirus favor from New Life Church in Colorado Springs, which is now passing the bounty on to the community.
The Rev. Brady Boyd, senior pastor, said about 50 members of New Life Church’s congregation are of Chinese descent and have been communicating with family and friends in China about the coronavirus, which originated in China late last year before spreading around the world.
“(They) were very well aware of what was going on back in China,” Boyd said.
When New Life, Colorado's second-largest evangelical Christian church, celebrated the Chinese New Year on Feb. 1 and took up a special collection, congregants knew where the offering would go.
New Life Church used the money to buy and mail several thousand face masks and other medical supplies for Christians in China to distribute, along with funds for other items.
Christians meet in secret in China because they are “very persecuted” and “under tremendous scrutiny” by the ruling government, Boyd said.
When Christians in China heard that the respiratory virus was spreading across the United States, they asked New Life's Chinese members if they could do anything to help.
“They began taking offerings among the churches and buying supplies at local stores and began sending these supplies to us,” said Aaron Olson, New Life’s pastor of creative and production.
New Life received medical gloves, suits and more than 4,000 medical masks, which now are being delivered to Colorado Springs' health care facilities, Olson said.
New Life also has deployed volunteers to write and deliver personalized cards to four senior care centers, along with sending craft supplies and fresh produce. Members also are assembling food donation bags for local religious-based agencies, such as Mercy’s Gate, Springs Rescue Mission and COSILoveYou.
Donations of nonperishable food items, paper products, diapers, towels, laundry supplies and other supplies are being accepted 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday at New Life's main north campus at 11025 Voyager Parkway.