Christmas is a good time to reflect on God’s love for lost humanity.
Jesus came to us, lived with us, befriended, and sacrificially offered himself to die on our behalf. Yet not many responded to His love. To befriend and impact someone other than yourself could take a long time as we experienced with Ms. C, a neighbor in the block we moved into 17 years ago. We tried to connect with her, and even though she desired the friendship, she kept her distance. We reached out to her with grocery we got weekly from Trader Joe to share with families in need. She told us how she sees people troop in and out of our house and wished she got invited too. We warmed up to each other and though we invited her to come over or we visit her, she made excuses and it never happened. We even shared our home-made Christmas cookies with her and other gifts. When she got to know us better and what we do she started acting spiritual and claimed she was Catholic. She does respect and love our friendship but was very protective of her Catholic faith. We kept loving her and prayed that God will use whatever pleased Him to bring her to His saving knowledge.
She took ill last year then felt the need to share her battle with cancer with us so we could pray for her. God worked in her life and the transformation was evident. Now, all she talks about is Jesus Christ, what He has done for her and her worship of Him. She is always looking forward to our calls and our prayers. Sometimes, as she told us, she sits and looks through her window hoping to just catch a glimpse of either of us because she considers us family. It took a long time to get here. We are on the same journey with our Iranian Muslim friends of 10 years and still counting. We pray they will experience the transformation of Christ as well.
This Christmas ask God to help you befriend someone for the sake of Christ for the long haul.
Author: Rev. Sunday Bwanhot
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago and ECWA USA DCC Chairman.