Our Neighbors

Our church is located across the street from a subdivision that is considered to be one of the lowest income neighborhoods in our city.  This neighborhood is often called, “The Dog Patch.”  Unfortunately we have barriers between us.

The first barrier is a four lane road.  The second barrier is no one from our church lives in this neighborhood.  The third barrier is most people in our church are rich (compared to those across the street) and we have no clue how to serve people.  In fact, some people in our church are afraid of the people across the street – sad!

Currently I am reading a book on hospitality by Christine Pohl called “Making Room.”  This book is challenging me to think that hospitality is not a program we extend but rather hospitality must always lead to friendship.  How can the barriers seperating us from the neighborhood across the street be torn down so we can extend hospitality and become friends?

I have been meeting with a public school that is located in the heart of this neighborhood.  This Christmas we have been asked to support 20 families.  One lady in our church said that this was too many; on the contrary, we have a minimal of 20 families in our church and if we all took one family . . . well, let me just say that if we quit being so selfish and quit spending on ourselves this Christmas we would have more than enough gifts for the children.

Here are some of the families we are going to support this Christmas.  A single mom of five children (including a newborn baby – less than a week old).  The father has just been given a long jail sentence.  A mother who can’t afford groceries and a phone, so she use’s the neighbor’s phone.  A single father of two girls (ages 6 & 8 ) – the mother walked away.  A family that can’t provide clothes for their children.  Dare I write more without tears of brokenness?

Paul when writing to one of his church’s he planted wrote that he had all the confidence in them to satisfy various needs and then some.  I have all the confidence in our church to supply these families with a Christmas and even have some left over.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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