Beijing: House church leader faces financial struggle after emergency bypass surgery

China Aid Association

(Beijing—Oct. 15, 2013) A house church leader who managed a radio station at Beijing Normal University during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 is facing financial trouble due to an emergency coronary bypass operation he had on Saturday.

Chen Tianshi, born Chen Zhangbao, had difficulty breathing Saturday morning and went to the Peking University Hospital where he had a cardiac angiogram performed. The doctor told Chen and his family that the angiogram showed two blocked blood vessels: one 95 percent blocked and the other 85 percent blocked. The doctor informed Chen that his life would be in danger if a coronary bypass wasn’t performed soon.

Chen’s wife Wu Huafen immediately withdrew all the money the family had and borrowed money from friends and relatives in order to obtain the 50,000 yuan ($8,192.21) the hospital required for the surgery to be performed. Chen was immediately sent to surgery and the bypass was completed, effectively saving Chen’s life. “I narrowly missed seeing you again,” Chen said to his wife after the operation.

The Chen family is not well off, financially. The eldest child, a daughter, is eight years old and the youngest, a son, is five years old. Because Wu takes care of the children full time, Chen is the sole provider for the family.

After the Sunday morning church service, two members of Zhongyuan Hall of Shenshan Church, the church that Chen leads, visited him in the hospital. The following morning, church members brought 3,000 yuan ($491.57) to help the family. Coworkers and members of Lengquan Church brought a combined amount of 1,200 yuan ($196.63).

Chen was imprisoned in Qincheng Prison for his involvement in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. He was released on parole on June 3, 1990, almost exactly a year after the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre, along with Zhou Fensuo after intervention from the international community.

Chen was imprisoned two more times in the 1990s. The first time was in the spring of 1994 when Chen participated in activities organized by Wang Dan. Chen was “lost” in the system after his arrest and was sent to a “re-education through labor” farm in a village in Wuhan, the provincial capital of China’s central Hubei province.

The second time Chen was imprisoned in the 1990s was in the fall of 1994 when he jumped in to the Pearl River Delta in the Zhuhai area of the southern Guangdong province. Chen swam to Macau, but was sent back to China and detained in Guangxi.

Chen accepted the Lord around 2000 and was baptized in 2004. After becoming a Christian, Chen led worship services at a gathering site in Xiaojiahe, a region of the Haidian District of Beijing. Now, Chen leads the Zhongyuan Hall of Shenshan Church in Beijing.

ChinaAid asks the brothers and sisters within Christ to lend a helping hand to the Chen family so that they may survive financially while Chen is hospitalized. Your help would allow Chen to peacefully recover from his operation without the added stress of figuring out how to provide for his family. When Chen recovers, he will serve the Lord diligently, raise his son and daughter and testify to the glory of God.

China Aid Contacts

Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985


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