Reality tells us that the countries of the world have come to America, and our “neighborhood” has increased greatly. Language barriers and culture differences certainly cause us to wonder how we can fulfill the great commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39).  Perhaps, we begin by praying consistently and intentionally for the Lord to create opportunities for us to show love every day, as we go.   

My neighbor on one side has been living there for one year, but she would never answer the door. One evening I overheard an unpleasant conversation about divorce as her and husband shouted to the sky, and my heart ached for her. I began to pray for three weeks that the Lord would open a way for me to minister to her. One morning as my husband and I were walking, we chose a different street on our return, and I saw her standing by her car. I called out and for the first time she welcomed me. Standing in her driveway I listened to her pain and shared the Gospel as we prayed together. Who arranged for us to pick that particular hour to take a walk and that specific return road that came right to her home in the moment that she walked out?  

It could only be the Lord Jesus.

At the airport this week, I was welcomed by an airline employee who pushed me in a wheelchair to the gate. As we waited through the lines, she asked me about my illness, and I shared the goodness of the Lord with her. She immediately began to share her own story, and I had the opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ with her as we rolled down the corridors. 

She is now my neighbor.  

This month we will be praying for how to minister and love the many refugees coming to America to find hope and a new life. I heard from my sister about one woman who was praying desperately for her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild to find passage out of Ukraine and into her mother’s arms in America.  We began texting prayer with her back and forth over several weeks, and finally they made it to safety.  The journey was extremely traumatic and much of it was spent sleeping on floors. When we heard this, my sisters and I quickly brought new quilts, bedding, and towels for the couple and for their little 4 year-old. We were so overjoyed to think that the dirty floors were replaced by lovely colors of new sheets, and they were too. Such a small thing; such a big impact on a struggling family. 

I have not yet met the mother or the son in person, but they are certainly now my neighbors.  

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ ’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  Matthew 22:37-39

This month as you pray with us, ask the Lord to set opportunities for you to minister to neighbors you may never meet, neighbors on your street, neighbors in need of love and knowing Jesus. As you keep “Expecting Amazing,” the Lord will take you into wonderful adventures, and you will be blessed as you fulfill the commandment of Jesus to love.  

Keep Expecting Amazing!

Diane Strack