In March of 2012, I travelled with Noel Piper in Sichuan province on a research trip. On the second Sunday of our journey, we found ourselves in the Protestant Church in Huili, Sichuan. Even though the church is in the heart of a city, most of the parishioners were peasants from the countryside, many of them elderly. During the service I spotted this woman intently reading her Bible. I couldn’t pass up the shot.
Reading the Bible
Up and Over
The Choir Master
Gates, Ancient and Modern
On Sunday morning we attended a service at the church in Huili. The choir (all women), decked out in suits and ties, led the congregation in the singing of traditional songs for an hour and a half before the service began. Then the service itself lasted another 2 and a half hours!
We were blessed.
After the service, we had a quick lunch at the Fuyin Xiaochi (Gospel Cafe), located in the building in front of the church, before setting off back to Xichang.
We also discovered that the house where Esther used to live was located right where the platform of the new church is now.
Our drive south from Xichang to Huili today took us up and over a range of mountains and down into a remote valley. There are no trains or planes that come here, so everything is brought in by truck.
The first half of the journey (by distance) was on an expressway and took an hour. The second half (by distance) was on a terrible road up and over the mountains, and it took 2 hours.
Here are a few photos taken along the way.
Esther made this journey on the back of truck in 1947. Later, in 1951, she made it on foot.