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Who Are Our Neighbors?



This week’s post-earthquake turmoil in Nepal is provoking some soul searching among the Nepali living in the United States, asking What is our responsibility to assist? Many of us who are well-resourced but not ethnically Nepali are nonetheless asking similar questions.


This image of the Good Samaritan is one I photo in the lobby of the Lubango Evangelical Medical Center, INMED’s Training Site in Angola, southern Africa. That morning the staff of our small medical center met together as Pastor Moses opened his Bible to Luke chapter 10 and read, “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the Law?’ replied Jesus. ‘How do you read it?’ The expert answered, ‘”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.’” ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’ But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?'”


Pastor Moses motioned just outside the door, where some 100 people awaited their medical consultations. He then pointed to the hospital ward and maternity, where 50 more were already receiving life-sustaining attention. “Today,” declared Pastor Moses, “we enjoy the privilege of compassionate care for these, our neighbors.” I’ve no doubt that were he speaking of the Nepali Pastor Moses’ message would be unchanged.

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