The title of this Valentine editorial probably makes you go… “Whaaat? Why love China?” Let me explain:

The events happening around us ought to give us a million reasons to share love. With the Australian bushfires, the eruption of Taal Volcano, and the spread of the coronavirus, we find ourselves on alert level 10—both in suspense of what disaster might happen next, and in anticipation of what door can open for us to share LOVE.

The Bible says that fear is the opposite of love. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). Despite everything happening around the world, we have the choice on whether to indulge in fear or to choose love. Frankly, I’d rather live courageously, choosing love than to hide underneath some table in fear of the next earthquake or typhoon.

LOVE = ROMANCE?

Love isn’t always romantic, although romance is undoubtedly the most celebrated form of love. Who doesn’t like the kilig, the hormones, the flowers, the chase? But there’s also the commitment—that steadfastness, that choice— when relationships (even our complex singlehood!), or our marriages force us to see that love cannot simply exist in a hero-making context where WE are always at the receiving center. Love can be expressed in a kindness where we don’t benefit from it at all, but others do.

Love is giving. Love is strengthening. Love is dying to our egocentricity as we put other interests above our own. Wasn’t true love shown on the cross when death to self was chosen for life to occur in many?

And thus, I come to this amazing opportunity called LOVE LETTERS TO CHINA.

CORONAVIRUS

Because of the coronavirus, we see how majority of people want the Chinese to be far, far, far away from them. The origin of this highly infectious virus came from the city of Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei Province, and it’s spreading like crazy to many nations. Though it is necessary that the Chinese government quarantines its citizens for the sake of everybody’s health, we cannot help but see the rise of racism and fear in different nations. Suspicion– even toward healthy Chinese—grows to the point of violence.

Despite this, One Voice Magazine wants to go the opposite direction of hatred and fear. We want to choose love. We’d rather be kind. Therefore, we choose to be concerned with the plight of the Chinese, especially the believers who make up God’s family of sons and daughters. We want to help strengthen morale in whatever little way we can.

1 Corinthians 12:25-26 says, “…so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” With the Chinese Church undergoing suffering and isolation, we do need to be concerned.

LOVE LETTER CAMPAIGN

Hence, One Voice Magazine is opening a channel where you, dear readers, can send your love letters, encouraging messages, and written prayers to our Chinese brethren in China. We’ve listed the mechanics on a separate page, accessible by clicking the photo of this editorial. We’d love for you to join us as we stand with our Chinese brethren, sharing love and strengthening them in this difficult time.

I hope that you can join us in this love letter campaign.  It is always an honor to stand with fellow believers, united in Christ’s love and compassion. May we be vessels where His love pours out to many.

One with you in this journey called life,

Janina Marie

Janina Marie Rivera is the author of the book, A Night Bird Sings of Blindness and Fear and has co-authored the devotional, Dawns, published by OMF Literature. She a contributing poet in the books Joyful Light and Whitmanthology: on Loss and Grief by Various Authors. She is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine.