If I were to ask you to think of and share a funny or interesting story about a neighbor you've had I bet you probably could? Growing up as a child in Myakka City, Florida we had no neighbors, or at least ones we could see. I grew up in the country and I loved it. I remember listening to my mom and dad talk about how they loved the quiet nights... well except for our built in security system of dogs barking and the sound of crickets, the dark sky that lite up with stars (something our friends in the city told us they could never see and loved to come star watch at our house). My family never envied or had any desire to live in the city and have neighbors.
Now in the last 5+ years I have lived in Europe. Either at our home in Romania or here in Czech Republic. Neighbors are actually viewed on a “a whole nutha level" (thanks Pastor Ed Young for this awesome Phrase). Yes.. whereas most people in the US barely know the names of their neighbors, its quite the contrary in Romania and Czech Republic... maybe all of Europe? Our neighbors here are like family. As a matter of fact the whole village is like that. Everyone greets one another as they pass of the street. When they ask "How are you?" They actually stop walking, look directly at you and genuinely want to know how you are... It's not a mere act that we Americans have gotten so used to saying while quickly passing one another "Hey Man, how are ya?" They share the fruit of their gardens, and work together to make the town/village look nice. Everyone doing their part.
Neighbors can benefit to us. They keep an eye on our house and vice versa. Maybe your yards or gardens are close and therefore you and your kids are spending lots of time outside together. You have the opportunity to encourage and build a relationship with someone who lives right next door. But do we?
Now my neighbors vary greatly. On the right side of my house is the towns fire station. On the left side is a family unique to this town (you will find out in a coming blog) and in the back of my house is the Catholic Church that was built in the 13th century and still opens its doors today and is magnificent both on the outside and inside.. I'll try to go take pictures of it tomorrow for the blog.
Today I want to talk to you about my neighbor the fire station.
I have several friends in the US who are fire fighters and think what they do is amazing. They risk there lives in emergency situations to save people and their houses, cars, etc. I often wonder what the rush must feel like when they get the call and rush to action.
This morning as I was in my kitchen making my typical cup of coffee the sirens went off at the first station. Because of the small size of our town its a volunteer fire station so the fire fighters probably just like me were starting their day, drinking a coffee, reading the Saturday news or maybe working the final bit in our gardens before winter arrives.
Me being curios as I am I looked at the clock and watched as the rush began. Within 3 minutes of the siren the first guy zoomed in on his bicycle, left it on the common yard between us and ran rapidly beginning to open the doors and do whatever it is they do. Within 7 minutes 5 more bicycles and 2 cars arrived and the guys were already pulling the truck out and dressing as they were climbing into it. 10 minutes from the time the siren sounded and now the fire fighters were already speeding away to fight the tragedy that had stuck someone this morning.
What an amazing calling to be fire fighter. To live a life always ready to jump to action and help others. To put your life at risk for the cause of saving someone else.
As Christians we need to all be living our lives as fire fighters. The state of the church is in an emergency situation and calls for us ALL to jump into action and do our part to save it.
Did you know that here in Europe the population is estimated at 500 million people. Which is more than the U.S. and Australia combined.
There is an emergency happening not only in Europe but all over the world. If we don't fight this rapid flame spreading across the US the church could end of in a state of almost non existence like in the European Union.
Less than 1% of the EU are Evangelical Christians...
Can you see and feel the emergency that's happening here with my neighbors?
It's time to take a look at ourselves. Seek God. An jump to action.
1. What self limiting beliefs do you have that stop you from sharing God's love and Salvation with others?
2. What's stopping you from sharing God's love with your neighbors?
3. Are you actively attending and being a part of your local church?
4. Are you setting aside time everyday for prayer and study in Gods word to equip yourself?
5. Are you using your God given talents to spread Gods love to everyone you come in contact with, imagine if you couldn't speak...can people see Jesus through your actions and lifestyle?
The church in Africa is growing 50 times faster than the Church in Europe!
I know God has brought me to this place in the world for a reason and has been equipping me for the last 28 years for this purpose. Our mission field is all around us.. our neighbors, communities and nations. The nation I live in is burning up and in desperate need for a Savior. Our Savior.. Jesus Christ. I have the opportunity to lead bible studies and projects to share with locals and also the unique group of hundreds if not thousands of Expats (English speaking people) living right next door to me in the second largest city in Czech..Brno and surrounding areas who relocated here to work for some major English speaking companies like IBM, Red Hat, Monster.com, and more. These people are from all over the world and once their term is up here will move back home or to another country. They can hear the word and take it back to their homes. The world is at my finger tips and it's time to jump to action. I'm ready are you?
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