In the three and a half years that we have lived in our house here in the D.R., we have had a lot of different neighbours. The house next door has especially seemed to go through a lot of tenants. We enjoyed having single missionary girls in it for a while and have had some nice chats with the Seventh Day Adventists who recently moved into the lower level. For a while though, the upstairs apartment had a stream of residents whose behaviours were questionable. The last set of guys really made me nervous. I probably wouldn't even recognize them because of the wierd schedule they kept but I felt uncomfortable and started to pray that they would move. Within a couple of days they were gone and a "For Rent" sign was up.
Enter the Jehovah's Witnesses. I have to tell you that they are actually really nice people to have for neighbours. They are quiet, polite, and friendly. They don't cause trouble. They don't try to convert me because they know me and know that I won't accept their literature. They talk to me like a friend. And I remember to pray for them.
One Jehovah's Witness told me they heard that there were a lot of people who spoke English in our town (although most are Christian missionaries) and decided to send English speakers and start an English service. I found out yesterday that two little girls from our school also have Jehovah's Witnesses for neighbours and have been going to church with them. When I told them they shouldn't one said, "I always wondered if they were real Christians. Any time I visit them they don't let me in."
Jesus said, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." (Mark 9:37 NIV)
Those two little girls walk a long way to come visit us. I have to admit that I don't always feel like I want to welcome them in. But they are ten years old and no one is really looking after them. One is an orphan who was living with an aunt who then left her with someone else while she went to Haiti. The other lives in one room (total, not just one bedroom) with her entire family of six but her Mom is not always around. If we do not reach out to children like these, the wrong people will.
Thank you to those of you who are praying for us. Please pray for our relationships with our neighbours and that they may truly come to know Christ as their Saviour. And pray for God's love and energy for the children He has placed in our path.