I know Josh said in the last post that our time in the community was an “eye-opening challenge in more ways than one” …and then only mentioned one. Never fear, world, we are still capable of counting, so here’s number two. While the first was more of a ‘what not to do’, this is definitely a ‘what TO do’.
Immediately upon arrival, it is easy to see that these people define “servant love.” I have never met people who take such joy in serving others, be it running to get breakfast for us, or slipping out of their morning prayer meeting to bring us mate, or showing up at our bedroom door with a welcome basket full of fruit and flowers. The first thought on their minds is how they can be showing tangible love to their very literal neighbor, i.e. whoever happens to be standing next to them. Their love for us is so genuine and so constant that after only a week, we felt right at home with them and furthermore, we found ourselves wanting to find ways to serve in return (clearing tables, washing dishes, giving English lessons). They are visibly transformed by their joy in Christ: it is evident on their faces, in the eagerness with which they meet each new day, and in the genuine pleasure they take in serving others in the hope of sharing Christ’s love.
As Hannah (one of my favourite members of the community) told me, “When you are connected to Christ, when he is your purpose for living and your source of strength, you can’t wait to get up in the mornings to serve him! The more you serve him, the more you are filled with his joy. By serving others, you then get to share that joy with others!”
This was not a foreign idea to either of us, but what was truly breathtaking was the way these words were actually lived out, the way this joy visibly transformed these people. Obviously, they have given up everything (a “normal” life, for example) to share this love with each other and their guests, but without a hint of regret or sadness. They are very literally joy-full. So I guess the second challenge is this: what is it that holds us back, as followers of Christ, from being SO filled with joy at every opportunity to serve?