China Aid Association
(Yushu, Qinghai – Aug. 6, 2011) A house church missionary who died Tuesday while working in an area of western China’s Qinghai province that was struck by a massive earthquake last year is being remembered for the transformation in his life after he dedicated himself to serving God by volunteering to do relief work in disaster-stricken areas, ChinaAid has learned.
Forty-four-year-old Han Zhiyong died suddenly on Aug. 2 of altitude sickness that was exacerbated by extreme fatigue in remote Qinghai province’s Yushu county, which was struck by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in April 2010.
Han, originally from Shenyang, the capital of northeast China’s Liaoning province, was among the many house church Christians who travelled to Sichuan in 2008 after the devastating May 12 Wenchuan earthquake as volunteers to do relief work. An unknown of pastors and missionaries also went to preach the Gospel, establish churches and engage in other evangelistic work.
When the Qinghai earthquake hit, many of those working in Sichuan came to Yushu to provide relief assistance and to engage in ministry work. The main focus of their evangelistic efforts was the local Tibetan community.
When Han first joined the relief work and church-planting effort in Sichuan in 2008, he was still very worldly. He thought that heaven was boring and no fun and that the world was more interesting and that he hadn’t had his fill of fun yet. But after joining the Sichuan relief work, the Lord changed him and he began to love God more and more. He spoke frequently of his willingness to die a martyr, and even joked that he would willingly martyr himself so long as he could die a painless death.
In Yushu, his main job was transporting goods and supplies to the summer camps. When he died on Tuesday of altitude sickness, his death was painless.
When his wife learned of his death, she could not eat or drink. It was not until the next evening, as a result of constant comforting from Han’s sister, that she was able to say she was proud of her husband’s sacrificial death and that she hoped she could also die like her husband did in service to the Lord.
A House Church Missionary Dies While Ministering in Qinghai Earthquake Zone
China Aid Association