Testimony: Small Offering of a Beggar Believer

A person holds money.
A person holds money. (photo: unsplash.com)
By Wang Hanfei March 9th, 2022

Editor's note: This is a true story. When I was in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, I met a beggar-like elderly believer who donated 5,000 yuan (about 791 USD) to the Wenchuan earthquake rescue operations. Being all his possessions, he donated this money to the disaster area as a Christian who experienced God's love. He said, "What I give to the disaster area is the same as giving to Jesus."

With severe disabilities, Elderly Yang can't work. He can only make ends meet by relying on the charity of his neighbors. Although no one gives him much money, some would always give him a bowl of rice, a hot meal and drinks, one yuan, five yuan, and so on as small favors. It is not much, but he can live without worrying about everyday life for food and clothing.

Therefore, his life is completely dependent on the kindness of the people in the village. His indifference to taunts is a key tactic in winning the trust and care of the villagers. Yang sometimes needs to suffer a loss of respect and dignity as a gesture of vulnerability to overcome people’s lack of empathy.

Yang, who had been accepting gifts from others, at some point started to give and return favors. As said, an aged pastor of a church preached the gospel to him with the philosophical wisdom, "It is more blessed to give than to receive!"

The elderly pastor told him, "No life can be so rich that he does not need gifts from others, and no life can be so impoverished that he cannot give anything. Any person can receive the gift of love, but he can also give gifts and warmth to others which are not only money and material things but also smiling responses, words of hope, and encouragement to regain confidence.”

Yang took these words to heart. When the Wenchuan earthquake happened in 2008, he donated 5,000 yuan which probably meant merely a trip, a pair of shoes, or a bag for other people, but in Yang's place, it was all his livelihood. Donating it meant that he might have no means to buy food for a long time and might even go hungry. But he donated it without any regret.

As Yang said, "What I give to the disaster area is given to Jesus. I don't need others to know me. As long as Jesus knows me, that's enough."

- Translated by Shuya Wang

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