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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'Welcome everywhere'

Amity Foundation brings attention to the plight of the poor in China

Outside of China, the Amity Foundation has been best known for recruiting more than 2,000 volunteer college teachers and printing 35 million copies of the Bible in Chinese. That’s all since 1985, when it began serving as the educational and social service arm of China’s Protestant church.

Not so well-known are Amity’s social service projects, which help hundreds of thousands of people, including those affected by poverty, AIDS, polio and blindness.

Amity doesn’t want rural people living in poverty to be ignored in a country where glitzy new urban buildings can give a false impression of widespread wealth. The foundation helps care for the poor and brings attention to their plight as China develops economically.

Working with the rural poor “is a big challenge for us,” says Qui Zhonghui, Amity’s general secretary. “It’s tough work. Poverty isn’t caused by one element. There are many factors.”

But Amity doesn’t shrink at the enormity of the task. “God’s love for all is why we exist,” Zhonghui points out.

To help the poor, Amity uses a participatory approach. Trained field workers spend one or two days meeting with community members, assessing their needs and proposing solutions.


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September issue

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