Putting Feet to 'Love Thy Neighbor'
Jan 22, 2015
High school drop-outs...unwed mothers...incarcerated fathers...poverty....hopelessness.
This is what Jered saw every day on his drive to school, in a housing project beside his neighborhood. He and his friends wanted to reach out to the residents there but weren't sure what the first step should be.
Eventually they started prayer walking through the community and intentionally introducing themselves to anyone they met. Over time, friendships developed, especially with several older widows, who were lonely and loved having someone to chat with.
When Serve RDU came up, Jered and his friends decided that this neighborhood would be the perfect location to provide a basketball tournament and cookout for the residents. After presenting their idea to the Summit staff, they passed out flyers advertising the event and met many more residents along the way.
The event was well-received, with 150 people enjoying food, fellowship, and games. Over 50 people from Summit volunteered that day, many of whom have now adopted several widows for their small groups to visit on a regular basis. Others decided to form groups to “adopt” different streets where they now visit the kids on Sunday afternoons. Soon Bible studies began and unofficial mentoring pair-ups formed with young men in need of a father figure.
Jered said that while they have faced several stumbling blocks along the way, he has high hopes that this “movement” will continue to grow and expand. “We want them to know that we love them and that we're here to stay. We're really excited that several of the adults in the community are coming up with their own ideas of how to draw people together and to share their faith with the young people in the neighborhood who aren't in church.”
In the end, Jered said that there is simply no excuse when it comes to reaching out to your neighbors. “Evangelism and discipleship are not a game. People need love and we have no choice but to respond. Our eternal reward will be a deeper relationship with Christ as he increases and we decrease.”