Have you ever heard someone say something along the lines of “someone should do something to help those people” yet the person saying that does nothing? Have you ever been the person who has said that? I have.

It is very easy to be compassionate from afar…it is very easy to be generous with someone else’s money. The reality is that if we want to make a difference we have to get into the game and sometimes the game is uncomfortable, risky, intimidating, perhaps even scary.

The motives that drive us to help and serve others varies, my intentionality is rooted in what Jesus tells us is Mark 12:30-31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

My 2020 word focus and commitment is “intentionality”. Specifically to be more purposeful in fulfilling the commandments seen in the above Scripture. In part to do this, I decided that sitting back saying “someone should do something” is not enough. I am committed to being one who does the doing by loving my neighbor.

Then the question becomes “who is my neighbor”? There are easy answers to this question—family, friends, and others who are near to us. However, the Greek of “neighbor” is πλησίον or plēsíon, which according to Christ is anyone irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet.

So, if I am following Christ, I am called to love all—despite our differences or my ignorance of who they really are. That does not always happen—guilty as charged! Well, going with “intentionality” I am about to embark on a journey to a foreign land, interacting with people who have a culture I do not understand…but the Lord has blessed me with a chance to meet them.

At this point I cannot give out the specifics of this part of my journey, but as you read this, I ask for your prayers. The prayers I seek are not only for myself and the team I am going with, but most importantly that the people we encounter will become our plēsíon—our neighbors through the love of Jesus Christ.

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