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Thank You for Loving My People

by LAURIE M. COMMUNITY Connecting with nationals Finding community Lack of “home” Reflecting God
Thank You for Loving My People
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
Hebrews 11:8

Like Abraham, we go because God has called us. God gives us a vision for the redemption of humanity – every tribe, tongue, nation, and community. Out of the desires in that vision, we incur great loss, leaving our father and mother, our home, and our community because we have the hope of a greater community to come. We look forward to the day when every community will worship together before the throne.

For years, I labored in a city that was not my home. I found myself with a people that had known deep rejection by various communities, were rootless, and – understandably – were cautious with outsiders. As I got to know them, my heart carried deep desires for them. I wanted them to have a deeper understanding of the love of the Father – even seeing their community as being objects of His great love. 

One Spring, my family received an invitation to a New Year’s party some in our small church were hosting. My kids came along, unwillingly dressed to the nines.

“Mom, why are we dressing up?”

“Because this is their holiday. We will honor them, by dressing for the occasion.”

We watched from the edges of the room as our friends danced steps my feet did not know. We spent the evening visiting, eating, and laughing. After a while, some of the ladies invited me to the dance floor. They taught me their dance and we finished the evening dancing.

The following morning at church, a friend approached me, “Sister Laurie, thank you.”

“What did I do?”

“You loved my people. You showed up yesterday. You celebrated and danced with us. You loved my people.”

Through my honoring their event and celebration, this brother was shown that his people were valued and had a place. Let the people we work with know that their communities are deeply loved by God. Let them have a glimpse of eternity – of their people being included in the multitude worshipping the Lamb. By leaving our own communities to honor a new community, we communicate the love of the Father for the Nations. 

Closing Prayer
Lord, as you call us to lay our communities and homes down to go into the Nations, would you be faithful to go before us and to comfort us. Would you give us faithfulness as we look for you to bless the Nations and redeem the peoples. May the peoples praise you, Oh Lord. And would you sustain us in obeying your call on our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Song: Holy, Holy, Holy by Reginald Heber The second verse of this hymn helps me to imagine the different communities that will be gathered around the throne of God. It gives me eyes to not just imagine my own birth community being represented, but my host community as well. It also comforts me in reminding me that this sacrifice of missing my own birth community is worth the suffering.
Question for Reflection

How have you seen God reflected through your host community in a way you don’t notice in your birth community?

Laurie M.
November 30, 2022

The community I was a part of when this event happened was known for its hospitality. They welcomed people into their homes with elaborate gestures to honor the guest. While my birth community may care well for their guests, it is more of an efficiency-based culture than a hospitality-focused culture. It was in being with these people from Iran and seeing how warmly they welcomed others into their home and honored them that I began to learn how to honor guests in my own home.