Love One Another

by Casey Greene
SDB Church, Berlin, NY

This summer I had the privilege of being part of SCSC. There were many wonderful — and challenging — aspects of my project, but the aspect of church family and the role they play sticks out the most. I have always loved how my church, and the denomination as a whole, always felt like a family. However, this summer I experienced more clearly how God can use them. I hope my experience can serve as a reminder to us all to continue to come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I am from Berlin, New York, which is 2,800 miles from Colton, California, where I was sent. For the first two and a half weeks of my project I was a single team and there were joys and struggles associated with that. One of the struggles I had been warned about was loneliness. However, this was almost never a problem for me. When I landed in California and was able to turn my phone back on, I had three texts from other SCSC students. Almost every single one of them communicated with me in some way while I was in California. They encouraged me, they told me what God was doing in their projects, and they prayed for me.

One day when I was having a particularly rough time I got an unexpected phone call from a wonderful, Godly woman. I had been on her mind a lot that day and she told me she had felt led to give me a call. We talked for about an hour and, if you asked her, I’m sure she would tell you it was no big deal. However, she showed me the love of Christ in one of the most apparent ways I had ever experienced. The day she called I needed someone and I felt like God had used her to say, “I see you, I know what’s going on, I’m here.” I got countless other calls and texts, on good days and bad days, and each time it was a reminder that God was here and I hadn’t been forgotten by Him or by His people.

 

My church family back home in Berlin even sent me a care package while I was in California. They sent me cards, snacks, and pictures. Most of all they sent me their love. So many of them went out of their way to talk with me, to check in on me, and to just do anything they could. The wonderful church in Colton also showered me with love. They made me cookies on my birthday, sought me out to talk with me, and made me feel welcome.

This summer grew me and changed me in more ways than one, but I think the main thing it gave me was a deeper understanding of Christ’s love for me. This can come through a variety of ways for different people, but I experienced it through the love of the church. I wanted to urge all of you to love the people in your congregations. Love the people who are hard to love and the ones who are having bad days. Go out of your way for people. Listen to God’s prodding and respond when he tugs at your heart. My hope is that through our actions more people than ever will experience the deep love Christ has for them.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

— 1 John 4:7 NKJV

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