By Edita McQuary
In the spring of 2017, Pastor Guy was playing music at Sunshine Villa Senior Living in Santa Cruz when he was approached by a fellow named Marty who recognized the tune and for the first time heard the words in English to a hymn he had sung in Chinese in China.
Marty, originally from New York and of Jewish descent, and his wife, Fuli, a Chinese national, invited Pastor Guy and his wife, Karen, to go to China and play his country-style worship music in several state-sanctioned Christian churches. Marty and Fuli live in China where Fuli teaches English to junior high school students but they frequently come to Santa Cruz to visit Marty’s mother.
In the summer of 2017, Pastor Guy and wife Karen flew into Beijing and then north to Shenyang. From there it was a crazy car ride to their destination of Fushan City. They were amazed at the rows of corn growing along the roadways and the landscaping with no trash on the Chinese highways. While there they also visited the beautiful countryside of Xin Bin with its rolling hills and forests.
The couple was warmly welcomed by the Chinese Christian community and the many people they met. Pastor Guy and Karen never felt like strangers in a foreign country. In one small village they visited the local people had never seen an American. To honor their visitors, the owner of the restaurant where they ate has placed a photograph of Pastor Guy and Karen next to the menu on the wall! Karen said, “The Chinese meals were so delicious we’ve never eaten anything like it.”
They were impressed by the size of the Protestant church of Fushan which has a choir of about 50 people. There are three services each Sunday, one of which is in the Korean language. The congregation loves the old hymns: “How Great Thou Art,” “Amazing Grace,” “Blessed Assurance,” “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” and other hymns familiar to most Americans.
One of the Chinese pastors, Pastor Paio, is an amazing violinist who has a wood shop where he meticulously shapes violins. Pastor Guy and Pastor Paio played hymns together and they have developed a friendship that stretches across the ocean.
This past winter the Country Cowboy Church Gathering along with Aromas Bible Church, raised funds to purchase and install, with the approval of the Chinese government, a cross on top of a small village church in Xin Bin. Crosses on churches in China are red.
This year Pastor Guy traveled to China for Easter week. He was able to see the new cross on the small village church. He also presented to those churches he visited last year, crosses made of old redwood cut from the beams of Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos where the County Cowboy Church Gathering meets on Fridays.
His friends Marty and Fuli and church members they visited last year again warmly welcomed Pastor Guy. Pastor Guy said, “The Chinese Christians celebrate Easter differently than we do. The week before there is a weeklong commemoration of Jesus’ suffering and death. Then on Easter Sunday morning there is a joyous but somewhat quieter service than what we in the West traditionally experience.”
This summer, from July 25 to August 8, Pastor Paio, his wife, and two sons are coming to Santa Cruz to experience worship in California! The older son is a pastor of a church in Shenyang, and the younger son is currently in seminary in China.
Pastor Guy and his team will be hosting them as they experience Santa Cruz County and worship in California. If you would like to know more or be a part of this adventure, please contact Pastor Guy at 831-588-7420.
Country Cowboy Church Gathering meets 7 p.m. on Friday evenings at Christ Lutheran Church, 10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos (Just past the CHP headquarters).
Pastor Guy is active with Cowboy Church International and Coy Huffman Ministries and has played at rodeos throughout the West Coast for more than 15 years. Pastor Guy and the Pickin’ for Jesus Band lead worship at the Aromas Bible Church about once a month and he is also involved with the Stephen’s Ministry at Twin Lakes Bible Church as well as ministry at Santa Cruz Men’s Jail.