From Malachi Mbenga:
This year we are focusing on the theme, “Love Your Neighbor”. Today I am going to talk on how we as a congregation have exhibited love to our neighbors in the world. But first, I would like to ask this question to all members of the congregation, “WHO IS YOUR NEIGHBOR”? To answer this question, I invite you to read during your spare time, Luke 11:25-36 (THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN).
When I was asked to talk on this topic, I decided to consult several dictionaries to find out their definitions of “neighbor”. Most of them defined “neighbor” as: “A person living near or next door”, but as a Christian, I will simply define “neighbor” as: “Anyone who shows love, kindness and helpfulness toward mankind regardless of, race, relationship, skin color, sex, or position”.
Based on the above simple definition of “neighbor”, the question we as a congregation will have to answer is: HOW HAS HUNTING RIDGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH MANIFESTED LOVE, KINDNESS, CONCERN, and CARE TOWARDS OUR NEIGHBORS IN THE WORLD? How have we as a congregation showed the world that their pain is our pain, that their happiness is our happiness, that we care and love everyone in the world?
- HAITI A few years back when Haiti suffered a massive earthquake, HRPC did not only contribute financially and materially, we as a congregation prayed for the suffering masses in Haiti.
- CAMEROON HRPC also prayed for, and contributed clothes and money to an orphanage in Cameroon.
- IMMIGRATION REFORM MARCH Our Pastor and several members of our congregation and our English class participated in the march for immigration reform. The participation of our congregation was to show our solidarity towards the love for mankind.
- MARK HARE AND JENNY BENT Our congregation has incessantly prayed for these missionaries and has continued to support financially their mission work in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
- SAGUA LA GRANDE, CUBA By signing a partnership with Sagua La Grande in Cuba, we as a congregation are extending our love and kindness to our friends and people of Cuba.
- PALESTINE AND ISRAEL A member of HRPC visited Palestine and Israel this year. Eva’s visit to these territories was as an ambassador from HRPC carrying our prayers of love, kindness, and peace for the peaceful co-existence of the Palestinians and Israelis.
- PRAYERS Our love and kindness to our neighbors in various parts of the world has not only been through financial and material support but HRPC has persistently prayed for peace in trouble spots in the world such as: Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Nigeria, Libya, Congo Democratic, for Ebola cases in: Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, for healing mercies in Cameroon for my brother Ephraim who suffered a massive stroke and my mum’s failing health and many others all over the world.
Some of us may have received our pledge cards for this year, many are yet to receive them, but if we all decide as a congregation that our priority this year is to sacrifice some of our time, talents, and finances to serving and giving, then we will stand a better chance to lend a shoulder to many of our neighbors in the world who desperately need a shoulder to lean on.