Anybody remember Mr. Rogers? You know,
“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor….would you be mine? Won’t you be mine?”
I liked him and his cool cardigan sweaters.
He was neighborly.
After one year of living in our little neighborhood here in Dar….today I felt some of those ‘warm fuzzies’ of neighborliness (is that a word?).
Some days it felt hard to have people around my yard and home all the time, not to mention all the chickens and roosters at 4am! Some days I was a bad missionary and wanted to hide in my room.
Today though, I was enjoying how far God has brought us and the relationships we have been developing here.
This morning I enjoyed spending some time praying together with Mama Sara who lives just outside my gate. She is a Believer and hungry and passionate for her faith which she discovered only a few short years ago. She asked if we could pray together once a week for our families after I gave her the book ‘The Power of a Praying Wife’. She grew up in a Muslim home so she enjoys learning more about how to live as a Christian wife and mother. It was nice to share together and encourage each other.
Later this morning Christopher came by…in typical fashion, outside my dinning room window he calls, “Hallo…Mummi” (Yes he is a 19 year old guy and yes I am not his mom but being called ‘Mama’ in some form seems to happen a lot!) He had a gift to bring us this morning from our Kenyan neighbor, Elkana. Christopher came to Dar for work which didn’t pan out and he had no where to go. He told me some time ago that his mother died when he was a baby. Elkana, has welcomed him into his home and is helping him finish high school. He brought, carrots, onions and tomatoes to share with us today. It was a pleasant surprise.
After lunch, I began to prepare the cake I’m making for Miriam and Bhati’s (our other neighbors) sister who is having a wedding shower. Miriam has had a busy week preparing for this wedding and needed a cake, so I said, “let me do it”. There must have been a reason I worked in a bakery as a cake decorator at Penner Foods back in the day. Nothing is ever a waste in God, right?!
We look forward to being part of this upcoming event for them. It is custom to give the bride- to-be a ‘send off’ party which takes place this Saturday and we will be in attendance. I admit, I am curious about this new cultural experience. I’ll let you know how it goes down.
Anyway, all that to say that God has got you somewhere for a reason….a ‘neighborhood’ for a high purpose. Some day’s it may seem like those reasons are so small and insignificant and yet we may just not always fully realize how much it blesses someone near us and we ourselves are blessed in return when we share our lives.
Who does God have you blessing today?
AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:30-31