Good Neighbours

Wednesday 07 Jul

What does it look like to live as a good neighbour?

Often as I hear stories from our intercultural workers across the globe, I am struck by how God uses our people as they humbly, but passionately live as good neighbours in their local communities. As they make themselves available, use their gifts and skills and take hold of what God has put in their hands, they share the hope of Jesus with their friends in ways that make sense.

Only yesterday I read an update from David and Eliza in the Silk Road Area and how in one 24-hour period they brought to life how God uses Christ-like neighbours. They spent time with friends whose cow and calf died, being allowed to pray for them in their sadness. Eliza and her daughter also attended a baby-shower type party where Eliza was invited to bring a blessing for the baby. And as they took food back to the family who had lost their cow and calf, their neighbours accepted a copy of the Scriptures. 

As I share this story I am mindful of how God can use each one of us as we make ourselves available to God at work in our local communities. 

It was very encouraging to recently meet Pete, living in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, who having attended a Global Interaction training event, sought to put into practice living intentionally as a good neighbour, being attentive to what God was doing around him.

Pete is part of an unfolding story as he develops a relationship with Mick, a Vietnamese man who moved into next door last year. Pete has learnt about Vietnamese culture, Buddhism and has been cooking Vietnamese dishes for the first time in his life as he develops and authentic friendship with Mick. Day by day, one step at a time Pete is breaking down barriers, and Mick is interested in hearing more about the hope of Jesus in a way that makes sense to him.

Yes, from the Silk Road to the northern suburbs of Melbourne and in Malawi as well.

Joyce, one of our Intercultural Workers in Malawi, is an experienced tailor. She has been responding to her friends’ physical needs through teaching them how to sew and develop micro-businesses.

One woman that Joyce is teaching is Mama H. Joyce’s husband Jean-Claude writes that through learning to sew, Mama H has, “… a sense of hope and empowerment to repair, make and sell clothes. After seven months of sewing lessons from Joyce, Mama H is now a tailor and she is running her own business of making and selling clothes.” 

But this is just the start! Jean-Claude goes on to share that, “Mama H became a believer in 2020, and Joyce and I baptised her in February. A few months later she began sharing her faith with her own people. God is good!” 

And this is just one of many stories of lives being changed as our humble, passionate workers live as good neighbours and embrace God’s gracious invitation to participate in mission in their local communities.

Our workers can only do what they do with the support of their wonderful partners from across our movement. 

And let’s be encouraged, let’s be challenged that we each have the opportunity to live as good neighbours, wherever we are across Australia or the world. 

We celebrate the mission of God in the hands of ordinary people and the difference we can make in the lives of people like Mama H in Malawi and Mick in Melbourne.

Grace and peace

P.S. We value the importance of communicating with our partners and we have been reviewing how we can do this more effectively as a mission community. We have seen through May Mission Month the high demand for digital resources from churches and partners and we will continue to develop high-quality online material. But we also value the benefits of a printed magazine and so we’re excited to be launching a new supporter magazine in 2021.

Through this magazine we’re bringing together the up-to-date stories of Vision with the thought-provoking articles of Resonate. We trust you will enjoy the new look Resonate and value our commitment to good stewardship with the production of a single magazine. We’re also developing a new website in 2021 and this will provide a 'one-stop-shop' for written and video stories from across the world and our Australian Baptist movement. Stay tuned for more details and watch out for our new magazine coming soon. « Back to News