Who Is My Neighbour?

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

I wrote last time about Jonah and how at times we can cause our own storms.  Another point from that sermon was something I hadn’t heard before.  The pastor compared the city of Ninevah to modern day terrorists; people who killed in the name of their god.  Is it any wonder why Jonah didn’t want to go? Can we really blame him for running in the opposite direction? How many of us would want to go and share the Gospel with Isis? I know if it were me I would be terrified.  Yet would God not forgive them if they truly repented from all the evil things they have done?  Take the apostle Paul. He too was a terrorist before finding the Lord and yet was transformed after a God encounter..

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord really isn’t slow about his promise as some people think. No, he is patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

When God called us to Honduras I knew deep in my heart that he wanted us here. However I felt conflicted about it. I wanted to go because I knew it was where the Lord wanted us, at the same time, I  LOVE to walk. I had heard I could never do that in Honduras…not alone.  My thought was I don’t want to go to Honduras, I can’t walk there. I will shrivel up and die inside if can’t get out and walk. The love of walking is wired right into me.  However, God knows the desires of our hearts, and we ended up finding the right house in the right location. In front of our home is a closed circuit neighbourhood that I am able to walk in.  Over the past four years, I have come to know many of my neighbours, and a lot of them by name.  There are people from all walks of life. I’ve had many great conversations, especially with my elderly Doctor friend Jorge. I remember one time asking him, “Jorge, do you know Jesus? Does he live in your heart?”  He kind of shrugged and told me that he read and believed the Bible, but there was one thing that had always bothered him. He told me what it was, and I told him what I believed to be the answer and  said I’d look it up and get back to him. Sadly I never got the chance. That was the last time I ever saw him. He passed away from a heart attack not long after that conversation at 90 years old. Oh my broken heart. I still miss him. Still see him leaning against his old rusty car. How I wish I’d pressed him further that day. If only I could talk with him one more time.

I believe that God is not going to call you somewhere and then not equip you.

I’m generally a very quiet person. I don’t speak up a lot, don’t often share my thoughts, or share what is going on inside.  So, if there is one area where the Lord has stretched me since moving to Honduras, it’s in the area of speaking in front of people, specifically children.  It used to terrify me and I would get all tongue tied. But he has given me the strength and banished fear. I love sharing stories of the Bible, how they’re relevant today. I want the kids to know that God loves them and has a plan and purpose for their lives. I love that in Honduras there is the freedom to share Jesus.

God may not call you to a foreign country or to reach the Isis, but he can use where you are to be a neighbour and a friend to someone who needs Him.  Ask Him to put people in your path who he wants to reach through you. Perhaps it’s an elderly shut in, a single mom needing a  break or a struggling teen. Perhaps it’s  someone you work with. Whoever it is, converse with them and listen.  Be a friend. You never know what people are dealing with.  You may be the only Jesus they will see. Who will you reach out to today?