Getting to Know Our Neighbors
This week's devotional comes from our Administrative Assistant, Brian Kaneko.
I can’t remember how long our church has been on Country Club Blvd., but it’s been a long time. I’ve realized that we’ve never really gone out into our neighborhood to ask what are the needs of the people that live in the apartments that are right next to the church. I’ll admit, I kind of consider Country Club to be a not-so-good neighborhood if I’m being quite honest. I feel that it isn’t very safe and has a bad reputation. Of course, that’s just me going off of my own assumptions, which aren’t always right. I remember during a staff meeting, Andrew asked me that if I was called to move into one of the apartments on Country Club, would I do it? I gave him an honest answer and said that I’m definitely not ready to do that. That’s the thing, would I be willing to move into a neighborhood that maybe isn’t the safest? Would I be willing to do that because God called me to? Sometimes He calls us to do something that we may not be uncomfortable with, but when we do it, it’s all worth it in the end. I’m currently in the process of getting ready to practice giving a message. I wouldn’t think that I’d be able to, but through prayer and God speaking to me, it is possible. I’m not the best public speaker and I don’t necessarily like getting up in front of other people, but see, that’s when we do things that make us uncomfortable. He gives us the strength to get out of our comfort zone and to do something that we normally wouldn’t do. In Luke chapter 9 is says:
Jesus called His twelve followers to Him. He gave them the right and the power over all demons and to heal diseases. He sent them to preach about the holy nation of God and to heal the sick. Then He said to them, “Take nothing along for the trip. Do not take a walking stick or a bag or bread or money. Do not take two coats. Whatever house you go into, stay there until you are ready to go on. If anyone will not take you in, as you leave that city, shake its dust off your feet. That will speak against them.” They went out, going from town to town. They preached the Good News and healed the sick everywhere. – Luke 9:1-6
That reminds me of the school supply drive we had a couple weeks ago. A couple days before, Brett and I went to the apartments next door to ask people if they need specific school supplies. I’ve always had a uncomfortable feeling about going to people’s door because I feel like they assume we’re trying to sell them something. Well, the majority of the people didn’t answer the door, but those who did were so friendly and appreciative that we were going to give out school supplies. We made one of our last stops and we met a gentleman named Ben. We asked if he had any kids and he said that he had a daughter. We told him that we’re doing a school supply drive and that we’ll be delivering them. He was overjoyed by that and then we asked if there was anything we could pray for. He actually walked outside and started to tell us about his life. We could tell there was so much pain and struggle with what he had gone through. After we got done praying, we saw tears in his eyes, and we were so blessed to have had that experience with him. See, we don’t know what the people around us are going through. That’s why it is important to seek the needs to the people in our neighborhood and community. We need to share the Gospel because it could bring people to Christ and to let them know that they have a God who loves them unconditionally. I’d love to go back to see all of the people that we were able to talk to. When was the last time you checked on your neighbors? When was the time you had a good conversation with them? Sharing the love of Jesus could start with a simple conversation. I challenge you to have that conversation with a neighbor or a friend and see the power of God at work in your life.