Minister Speaks: Letting your light shine

Today, for the first time in a long while, I saw something on television that both encouraged and inspired me.

It was a brief article on one of the major news channels regarding the rebuilding efforts taking place in Vidor, Texas, following the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. It seems that immediately following the hurricane, there were many good-hearted people in the area helping with the initial clean-up efforts. However, as time went on, those people left — long before many of the victims of the storm were able to return to their damaged homes.

The article featured one couple who had been given temporary shelter in a FEMA trailer, but whose home hadn’t been repaired or rendered livable. A local preacher, after discovering that this couple and many of his other parishioners were still living in shelters, tents and other temporary structures, solicited the help of a group of people working for a Minnesota-based organization that travels around the country rebuilding communities hit hard by natural disasters.

The head of that organization described their goal as follows: “We’ll bring in supplies, we’ll bring in teams. We’ll help them rebuild their community. It’s all about bringing hope to people who quite honestly are hopeless.”

This organization doesn’t just bring help in the form of materials and labor. They bring hope to people finding themselves in desperate situations by showing them that they care and by sharing with them the love of Christ.

This broadcast reminded me of a relatively new organization in Sabetha, and how fortunate we are to have it in our midst. This organization is called Neighbor-2-Neighbor, and its stated mission and goal is as follows: “To build relationships with and serve our neighbors by providing assistance through project based work on homes and/or emergency financial assistance to meet the basic human needs while upholding the dignity of the whole person/family, building lasting relationships, and a stronger, healthier community.”

Dear Friends, whether rebuilding homes and restoring lives destroyed or disrupted in natural disasters or addressing the financial, emotional or physical needs of our neighbors locally, it takes money and resources. But thankfully, the amount of money required for such worthwhile projects can be substantially reduced when individuals and organizations come together and use their God-given talents, abilities, resources and time for a common purpose.

Working together in collaboration and cooperation, businesses, churches and concerned citizens of our community can address the needs of our neighbors in both a God-pleasing and community strengthening way. Letting Your light shine isn’t just a nice thing to do… it’s a means of witnessing to our faith and introducing our neighbors to the Love of God.

As Matthew writes: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

To volunteer your time and talents or make a financial donation in support of Neighbor-2-neighbor, or to inquire as to how you can apply for help or assistance, please call 785-285-8403, or email

Michael Dunaway4 Posts

Michael Dunaway is a pastor with the Northeast Kansas Lutheran Partnership.


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