China Missions Pt 3 – Dequin
We left Weixi by bus at 8 am on Friday 25th September to travel to Deqin, far up in the North of Yunnan Province of China. Weixi is around 8,000 feet above sea level and Deqin is over 11,000 feet, so if you do any sort of exertion you can feel your breathing being a bit laboured. We travelled up alongside the Lancang River, climbing all the way, for more than 4 hours as the mountains got more and more rugged. The scenery sure was spectacular as was the road, which was mostly a new road with bridges over the chasms and tunnels through the bluffs. That was until we got to a bit that they were still building! Here we had to bump our way across a jagged track where our bus got hit by a falling rock. Praise God it was not a big rock! Then we were further amazed to come across several huge dams being constructed across the river. The whole area was a huge construction site of dams, bridges and tunnels! I remember reading that Laos and Vietnam, downstreamj on the Mekong River, had violently objected to the dams but China is building them anyway. We finally climbed up to Deqin at around 1pm, a 5 hour bus ride which cost around NZ$15.
We had planned to try to take another bus to nearby Tibet and see the Village Health Clinic that City Impact Church has helped to build there, but we found that the internal border to Tibet was tightly closed. We were offered “a way around by a back road” but that was not an option. So we called for help from our friend in Kunming who arranged for the Village Health Worker from Tibet to travel to Deqin to meet us. He arrived the next day and we had a lovely time with him, although he had very little Mandarin we felt a closeness in the Spirit. We gave him some further funds for medicines as we had agreed previously. This brother told us that his family was one of only six families that were Christians in his village and he didn’t know of any other Christians at all! That is pioneering ministry! We were privileged to pray with him before returned home to his village the next day.
We also did some tourist things in Deqin. There is a famous mountain nearby called Meili Snow Mountain which rises to over 23,000 feet! Sadly, the whole area was in swirling clouds so we couldn’t see the mountain. All was not lost however as we did see a glimpse of it the next day as we were leaving. It sure is massive! On our way out of Deqin we travelled over a pass that was at 4,292 metres or over 14,000 feet! After yet more spectacular scenery we arrived at Zhong Dian (which is also called Shangrila) where we caught a plane back to Kunming thatnight arriving back at our apartment at midnight under a super bright full moon which marks the Mid Autumn Festival in China where everyone eats moon cakes. In fact the staff at Shangrila airport serenaded us with shrill Tibetan singing and gave us all moon cakes while we were waiting for our plane!
We were so glad to be back in our soft Kunming beds after a 6 day trip of amazing experiences. Praise the Lord for His provision and protection!
– Keith Morris,
Keith and Jan Morris are currently on a two month missions trip to China to visit many of the health clinics that City Impact Church helps support. They are long standing members of City Impact Church and have been doing missions work in China for over two decades.