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“Serving The Poor Is Evidence You Are Strong”


“We who are weak are focused on ourselves. We don’t have the capacity to improve the plight of others.” Dr. Pangyan was in northeastern China making his appeal to recruit physicians for the LIGHT medical care team. They looked on doubtfully and inquired, “What sort of capacity?” Pangyan explained, “Sometimes we lack skill, health, money, or time. But more often the missing capacity is vision: we don’t see or feel the distress in people around us. But if you are strong in vision, even without much money or time, you can serve the poor!”


Dr. Pangyan speaks from experience. He leads a cadre Chinese nurses, physicians and therapists who focus on caring for underprivileged persons in their city of eight million, people who are disabled, elderly, HIV-infected, and from ethnic minorities. Pangyan is not well paid by China’s standards, but what he lacks in financial capacity, he compensates in enthusiasm.


“Why are you so committed to this cause?” asked his potential recruits. Pangyan replied with a scripture from 1 John 3, “‘If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.'” Pangyan expounded, “We who are so utterly blessed with vision should be serving the poor. It is humble evidence that we are actually strong.”


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