January 28, 2021
“Love thy neighbor as thyself…” is one of the truths that I am constantly trying to instill in the hearts of our three young boys, specifically, towards each other. However, the truth carries much farther than just those in my immediate family. Since our family moved to the Hastings–Sunrise neighborhood in the heart of Vancouver, Canada to plant a new church, our family has tried to literally apply this principle in a tangible way.
Living in such a densely populated area, you are always surrounded by a lot of people, yet it is easy to experience immense loneliness as well. This is how most of our neighborhood functions day to day. We hear a lot about “community” and they are all searching for connection in a variety of places, yet they are missing out on true community found in a loving church family.
This is why for the past year and a half I have been intentionally connecting with my neighbors through the “spiritual” gift of baking. It may not seem like much, but in a community like ours, a friendly visit with a freshly baked loaf of banana bread, with our families’ contact information attached, assuring them if they need anything, can go a long way in breaking down the barriers that many choose to live within. The simple Christmas, Easter, new baby gifts go a long way as well. We have even had a couple accept our dinner invitations. Little by little, we are showing them the love of our Jesus.
Regardless of their demographic, or even if it is just our local fire hall a few blocks away, we have found this to be an incredible way to connect and build relationships within our neighborhood. And now, when we walk to the corner market, bakery or produce stand, we often run into our neighbors, opening another door to build relationships, and allowing them to grow comfortable with our family. We are still new at all this, but we are trusting that God will honor our desire to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that He will continue to open many hearts to the life changing Gospel we are so blessed to share.
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