Huen La* seems pretty tentative at first. ‘We are a new church, here to learn, please feel free to give feedback’. But as I listen to his story I begin to think they have a lot to teach others already.
‘One day our church pastoral team found a household in chaos. The man, Ni* was addicted to drugs and alcohol. He had become so ill that he could no longer walk and his marriage was under huge strain. Ni had such a bad relationship with the rest of the village that even in a time of crisis no one would help.
Our church members went and helped cook for the family and helped clean their house. They gave some cups of rice and clothing. One evening, when three church friends were on their way to visit him, a heavy rainstorm struck and the roof of the house was blown sideways. Everything got soaked. The church friends prayed with Ni and then helped him to find government help. With some government support they were able to replace the roof so that the family could sleep and eat better.
Ni was very grateful saying “I am such a bad person, I had no friends to help me”. The church friends continue to visit, love and encourage him. ‘Now a remarkable change has taken place, his house is filled with neighbours’. He is now able to use crutches and whenever he sees me on my motorbike he makes a major effort to walk out on his crutches to meet me.’
I wonder, am I willing to befriend those that no one else will?
*Name changed to protect privacy.