Before we even moved to Joburg, we knew we wanted to live in the neighborhood that the ministry center was in. Our call as Christians is to love God with our all heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is the foundation of what we believe and how we live our lives. As missionaries, being a neighbor to the people we are serving and is something that we value. Our friends here told us it would be hard to move in to the neighborhood because there is very little available that is safe. But God provided a home for us that is in the neighborhood of the community we will serve, and it is very safe.
We moved in on Sunday night, and have already had our doors open to new friends we’ve made. We’ve made it a goal to be hospitable. After having studied scripture for the last 3 months, it’s time to put into practice verses like these: Romans 12:13, “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” & 1 Peter 4:9 “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” So this week, even though we’ve only been here 6 days, we’ve had people over 4 out of those 6. Today we went around to give muffins and meet our neighbors, and one neighbor told us, “I wanted to go knock on your door to meet you because you seem nice, but I was scared so I didn’t go!” We are so glad that we went- and now that we’ve reached out to our neighbors, they’ve reached back to us! Later on we heard a knock on the door, and one of our smallest neighbors came right in and made herself right at home:
It was a bit of a challenge to hang our with our little neighbor because she doesn’t speak English, only Zulu & Xhosa. She would point at different things around our home and we would tell her the name in English. It was all fun and games until she got our toothbrushes 🙂
We know that God has given us this home in exactly this location, not just so that we will be comfortable, but so that we can bring His Kingdom to this community. And how do we bring his Kingdom here? It starts with loving our neighbors.