- Tim Freyer, National Strategy Director for Families, Power to Change Australia
A few years ago we started giving out Christmas cookies to the 20 neighbours in our court. Over time, we added a bit here and a bit there and this year ended up delivering biscuits to 100 houses in our neighbourhood. We were excited to have a number of really good conversations about life and even had a few spiritual conversations. We’re hoping to continue some of these conversations and see where God leads.
One of the exciting developments is that God has begun to change the culture of our neighbourhood! Through the challenges with COVID-19, God has given us an opportunity to connect more deeply with those around us. As we have prayed and joined the Lord in His work, we have had the privilege of being representatives of His presence in the lives of those around us.
We’ve been so excited that God has connected us to other Christians in the area, and we have been able to unite together and reach out to those hurting and needing comfort.
Some of the ladies noticed that there were several others in our neighborhood who were hurting. As a result, they decided to have a Christmas tea and catch up with many of these women. It was really encouraging to see others take the initiative to help love others well. This has included taking flowers, biscuits, groceries, or a meal to some of those who have been in need and struggling.
Shortly after the ladies tea my wife Liz popped by to connect with a lady who has only been married three years. She did this before going to an eye appointment to get some new glasses. Together, they had a great chat before Liz started to excuse herself to go to the appointment.
When this couple heard that Liz was going to the optometrist, they quickly started asking questions of her about her eye condition (keratoconus). As this couple heard about some of my wife’s vision limitations they both suddenly started tearing up! Liz felt a little awkward, that is until the woman explained that two days prior she had been given a diagnosis of a progressive eye disease The prognosis is that within the next 5 years she won’t be driving, and in the next 10 years, she will be completely blind.
What an awful shock for them both! Liz then started tearing up thinking of the implications for this very well-put together business woman. Yet she was able to sit and listen as they processed through the difficulty of their situation. Liz ended up being a bit late for her appointment, but God had other plans for that moment! Again, He blew us away seeing how He led Liz to connect with this couple just after they received such hard news.
It was good to mourn with them and to be a reflection of God's love to this couple who were in so much pain. We now have the blessing of being able to walk with them together through this trial. It’s our prayer that God will use it in significant ways in their journey to faith.
It’s a tough job to reach out to a neighbor. Maybe you don’t agree with them or maybe it’s your first time meeting them! Yet it is a great way to love them, understand their challenges, maybe even share in the struggles we all face.
We’d love to provide resources to help you break down barriers with your friends and neighbors to share in their pain or need. One program called MyFriends is a great way to get involved. Follow this link to get started!