WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
The team could have turned back. It had been a long day. Dark clouds loomed overhead.
“One more house,” the Every Home team in Venezuela decided.
As soon as they knocked, rain began to pour.
Juan opened his door and welcomed the team inside. For two hours, as rain came down in sheets outside, Juan shared his story and the burdens of his heart. The team listened and shared the love of Jesus. Moved by their friendship, Juan opened his heart to Christ.
“Seeing the loneliness and need of many and knowing that God uses us as instruments to announce the good news—that really is priceless,” wrote a member of the team.
Before we can share Christ’s love with our neighbor, we must see them through Christ’s eyes. It’s a practice that transforms us as much as it shapes those around us. When we give the precious gift of our attention, we become rebels against a distracted, selfish, hateful world.
Neighbors to the Neighbor-less
In some ways, the Roma people of Eastern Europe are people without neighbors. They live as outcasts, face discrimination, and are denied access to education, employment, and resources.
But the love of God has always been stronger than the hate of man. In Kosovo, believers meet with men and women in the Roma community to host skills training.
“We share a message of hope for their future,” our team in Kosovo says.
During a special outreach, this team gave flowers to women. “This might be the only flower they receive all year,” our team shares. “It comes as a special gift that shows how much we care for and love them and their value in God’s eyes. A flower might look like a small thing, but to them, it’s more special than any expensive jewelry.”
When we are neighbors to those who have no one, we embody Christ. And others notice.
The Neighborhood Coffee Stand
Masrecha Belayhu is a coffee vendor on the streets of Hirna, a small town in Ethiopia. She has been selling coffee for years, making just enough to make ends meet. Despite struggles, she is a kind-hearted woman, loved by her community.
Masrecha attended an Every Home event out of curiosity. There, she heard about the love of Jesus. She was deeply moved and decided to give her life to the Lord. She felt peace and joy like she had never experienced before. She shared Jesus’s love with anyone who stopped at her coffee stand. Her business flourished as people were drawn to her kind and gentle spirit. She has inspired many to turn to Christ, and her stand continues to be a gathering place for the community. Masrecha sees her neighbors as she pours their coffee, while they see Jesus in her.
Finding Your Neighbor
We live in a distracted world. Busyness offers an easy excuse to pass by.
But Jesus offers a radical, opposite invitation: “Love your neighbor.”
Our neighbor could be anyone we meet “along the road” of our daily lives. As you keep your eyes open to see your neighbors, here are a few ideas to reflect on:
- Sometimes loving your neighbor is more about listening than speaking. Ask God to open your eyes to the people who need the simple gift of your attention.
- Who in your life is “neighbor-less”? Is there a practical way you can come alongside them?
- Are there people you interact with daily who have become invisible because they are familiar? What simple kindness can you extend to them in Jesus’s name?
As we become people like Masrecha who embody Christ to our neighbors, you can strengthen and equip your fellow believers around the world to share the gospel!