Letter to the Editor: Serving our neighbors
Who is my neighbor? That’s the question which the Lawyer asked of Jesus, seeking to justify himself (Luke 10:29). And in response, Jesus preaches to us the parable of the Good Samaritan (or we might say the “Good Neighbor”), teaching us that we act as a neighbor to those around us by showing them mercy, providing for them as we are able, and serving them.
As some, and perhaps many, of you know, there is a group which has formed in Sabetha called “Neighbor 2 Neighbor.” This is indeed a Christian group. We are founded on Christian principles and we are guided by the same. It is not, however, a group which only serves Christians. Instead, Neighbor 2 Neighbor seeks to serve all our neighbors, regardless of their religious affiliation, because that’s what neighbors do, and that’s what the Lord would have His Christians do.
From the outset, Christians have understood this. When the plagues swept through various places at various times, the Christians were the ones who brought them in and cared for them. When people needed facilities in which they could receive healing, Christians founded hospitals. When needs have arisen throughout history, Christians have founded all sorts of organizations with the sole purpose of helping others who needed it. It hasn’t always been perfect. It hasn’t always worked the way they wanted. But they tried and did what they could, because they were Christians, and they were neighbors.
As Christians, we understand that when the Lord preaches the Gospel to us, that Gospel produces faith, and faith does not stand idle but produces good fruit. This fruit exists, not to serve ourselves, but to serve our neighbor. This fruit of faith looks to stand, not on its own, in isolation of our neighbor, but to stand next to our neighbor and walk alongside them in love and mercy.
As a group founded on this Christian principle, we have come together for this purpose, to serve our neighbors. Our group consists of many people from many backgrounds and many walks of life, but we have joined with one another to serve in our community and to encourage others to do so as well.
We aren’t always able to help with every problem. There are some things which are beyond the abilities of our group (at least for now). But we will always try. We will never refuse an application. We will always endeavor to find a way to help our neighbor who needs help. Sometimes that help is directing them to another program we know about. Sometimes that help is as simple as cleaning up a yard. Sometimes that help is more involved and takes weeks or months. In the midst of this all, we will fail. We will make mistakes. But whatever the need, we will try.
We’re not superheroes. We don’t have super powers (though flying would be pretty cool). We aren’t a large-scale multi-national organization. But we are neighbors. We are YOUR neighbors, and we want to serve you — neighbor to neighbor.
Marlene K. Bosworth, Mary Herrmann, Karen Beyer, Bob Ruddick, Steve Huneke and Sean Kilgo
Neighbor-2-Neighbor board members