After we helped thalassemia patients who needed blood and money, mostly by establishing relationships with them, it was easy to preach the gospel to them, said a male believer who is responsible for a project helping people with Mediterranean anemia.
Enthusiastic about public welfare such as donating blood, a male Christian named Damin has participated in a rescue team, currently leading a public welfare project that cares for Mediterranean anemia patients.
Recruiting members in the church to participate in visiting families suffering the disease in cities and counties, Damin also observed two phenomena worth reflecting on.
His narratives are written down as follows in the first person:
One phenomenon is that many believers confine their activities inside churches. They know little about public welfare or are too busy in church ministry to be concerned about other things. “It is a waste of time focusing on unbelievers”, not only believers think this way, but also some pastors.
I tell them that to introduce the gospel into China, Western missionaries were engaged in teaching children to learn Chinese characters or conducting medical and health care and were the “earliest community volunteers”.
It is difficult to evangelize, as the officials or people state that Christians say nothing but “believers will be in heaven with Jesus, but unbelievers will be sent to hell after their deaths.”
This reminds us the church should go into society to serve others. Being influential in society, the church could get support. Some churches might obtain the certificate of licenses they have been struggling to get.
Having studied theology at the theological training center in Hainan for two years, I was questioned, “why do you carry out public welfare activities rather than pastoral care?” when I was first involved in the volunteer work.
The vulnerable groups in society who are like orphans and widows mentioned in the Old Testament Bible need our support, otherwise, they will be helpless. I met some disadvantaged people who couldn’t write certain words when applying for subsistence allowance due to Mediterranean anemia or who didn’t know how to use WeChat.
The other phenomenon is that Christian volunteers are anxious to preach the gospel.
Volunteers should be caring and professional, so they still need further training.
Before the visit, I emphasize in advance that we must care about children and their families first instead of sharing the gospel in a hurry, as some volunteers are eager to introduce the gospel. It is troublesome if they report it and it’s better to share about Jesus next time if they trust us.
When you share the gospel with another person, they say they believe in Jesus but their life is unchanged. You need to think about how to conduct further pastoral care, letting thek have the heart to serve and new life to influence their family and friends.
Though I remind the Christian volunteers ahead, they still deliver the gospel eagerly.
- Translated by Abigail Wu