Love Surpasses Everything, and Love Never Ends
Deputy Secretary-General of China Committee on Religion and Peace
Secretary-General of China Three-self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches
Today, China has achieved great results strategically in preventing and controlling COVID-19 and restored production procedure steadily and normal life for people basically, as time being New Normal. It has to be called a miracle, especially for a developing country with the most population and the most migrant population in the world.
However, just a few months ago, we just went through the most serious danger encountered by our generation. Wuhan was locked down, cities were standstill with empty streets and roads, and our lives were forced to pause. People were scared, hesitant, without knowing how to. At that time, we ever joked that staying home is to make a contribution to society. However, in my opinion, if all people had only stayed home, our life would still pause now, and even worse, there would be no today’s webinar. In fact, under the surface of shutdown and quietness, many warm streams of love were surging up and finally created a strong power, so that by which we stopped the virus and wiped it out.
Here, I would like to share a few stories of some ordinary Chinese Protestants to fight against the pandemic.
When Wuhan was locked down, the public transport also stopped. A protestant believer named brother Liu, risking his life, drove his own car to and from hospitals, communities, hubs of donated materials every day. He picked up medical workers to work or home, delivered life necessities to each community, and sent medical equipment to module hospitals. He worked silently from dawn tonight. Every time when people wanted to pay for him, he always refused politely, taking no pence.
In the early outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese government sent charted flights to take back Hubei tourists detained in other countries and needed professional doctors to ensure health safety for international flights. At this moment, Doc. Xia, a protestant believer and member of YMCA of China, volunteered to take his own surgical caps and ICU shoe covers.etc, to serve in the flights. For one round trip, he usually did not eat or drink for more than ten hours as the first one in protective suits to board on and the last one to board off.
He fulfilled his promise of curing sometimes, relieving often, and comforting always as a doctor, and also showed the love of Christ.
There were tens of thousands of protestant volunteers like Brother Liu, Doctor Xia in the period of the pandemic. In addition to praying every day for our country, our people, they also joined teams of volunteers to offer help, unknown to the public, no complaints or regrets. Some from hundreds of miles away joined the medical team to aid Wuhan, some provided cleaning and caring service in hospitals, some assisted the local community in taking temperature, sterilizing, dispatching food and materials, caring for the old and the vulnerable, and some worked overtime to produce protective supplies such as surgical masks, disinfectant, etc. Risking their own lives, and without any payment, they did what they could do to care about their neighbors and help local communities. More believers helped to ease the pandemic by donating money. A newly-wed couple donated 500, 000 yuan for their wedding ceremony. According to incomplete statistics, the funds donated by all local protestant churches and protestant believers in the whole county have totaled up 200 million Yuan.
Protestant believers only take up a small portion of the Chinese population, and what we have done is so small that it is not worth noticing. Facing this unprecedented pandemic not occurring even in a hundred years, all Chinese people united in solidarity worked in concerted efforts and wined the battle against the pandemic by the great spirit of combating the COVID-19 epidemic.
The virus is the common enemy of all human beings, and nobody could stand alone against the virus. Human beings’ experience in dealing with AIDS, Ebola tells us, it is necessary for all countries to work together in joint hands to overcome common challenges and build a community with shared public health security. Rumors, discrimination, humiliation, and blaming games all disobey the dignity of human beings and facilitate the spreading of the pandemic. As religious believers, what we should do is telling truth based on facts and science, opposing any humiliation and discrimination in the pretext of a pandemic. We should ignite hope with love, draw out peace from anxiety, and bring trust and confidence from turbulence by praying and courage.
The Bible said no fear in love. Chinese protestant believers are willing to live with love, act out love, insist on small loving things, and then benefit all. Jesus often said to his followers, “Peace be with you!” We wish that in the world of the pandemic spreading, people connect and warm each other by bonded true love, and may peace be with the world, with all human beings.