Over the last couple of years I have been increasingly burdened to show Christian love in my neighborhood. When my wife was still alive, she and I would walk the street and sometimes stop to talk with neighbors who were in front of their house. We occasionally prayed with some of them.
This year I felt burdened to organize a National Night Out for our street. I made up flyers and went to each of the 23 homes to invite people. When the date rolled around approximately 40 folks came out. Many remarked how easy it is to go to work, come home and rest inside, and never get out to meet neighbors. So they were very appreciative of this chance, and several said we should do it again. One neighbor is planning a street yard sale in a couple of weeks, so that will be another connecting point.
We had a police officer and a fire truck come by to give a safety demonstration. It was a big hit with the kids especially. Some got to try on real handcuffs!
An interesting God-thing happened toward the end of the evening. On an adjacent street there is a large Somali family (eight kids). I have talked to a couple of the men before, and brought some grocery bags of fruit, cookies etc to their home as they ended Ramadan last month. Anyway, one of the men of the family walked by our neighborhood gathering and was watching with interest what was going on. I went over to talk with him, and then brought him over to our group and introduced him as my friend. (We need to be bridge-builders to immigrants, because many view them with suspicion). Several people spoke nicely with him. As I walked away with him, I invited him to bring his entire family for dinner to my house this Thursday; he said they would. I have many hamburgers left over, so that’s what we’ll have again. Many immigrants are never invited into an American home. Tweet This I will also need to call the food “beef burgers” since any kind of pork is prohibited for them.
P.S. Recently, on Twitter, I began a hashtag called #NearFrontiersTREK. I want to use it to track times that a member of our staff travel to one of the “near frontiers” in America. To be frank, I envisioned this happening out on exotic road trips.Tweet This I guess it is God’s sense of humor that my first “trek” happened right in my own neighborhood!)