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Friday, May 12, 2006

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In the book of Luke, Jesus presents to the world what will later be titled the greatest commandment. When asked by an expert in the law what one must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus responds by quizzing him—26"What is written in the Law?" he [Jesus] replied. "How do you read it?"27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[c]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]" 28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"Jesus responds with the story of the Good Samaritan which is familiar to many of us. However, how deeply have we let this story sink in? This Samaritan was completely opposite the Israelite—the Israelite, to those listening, would in all other cases be the hero, the wise, the strong, the example. Yet in this parable the Samaritan is all of these—the Samaritan, who would in a story told by any other Israelite of the time, be the weakling in all frames of being—spiritually, mentally and perhaps even physically. There is something to be learned from this parable that is not often noted. We may and should be this Good Samaritan to all people—our neighbors in greatest need are at times local but are, at many other times, from “out of town.” As Christians, our community is much larger than we can imagine! We have brothers and sisters—neighbors on every continent. And we can have a relationship with them! However, what has not yet been said is that perhaps we are not the Good Samaritan. In fact, our situation as it would be currently puts most of us in the shoes of the Israelite hurting on the road. It is said by many who participate in missions trips that perhaps the people who are sent in the mindset of being the Good Samaritans discover that indeed they are at times more affected by the people they meet, and they soon discover, if they let the people participate in their lives as fellow neighbors, that these people are Good Samaritans as well. The church of God knows no ethnic boundaries, knows no economic or political boundaries and no boundaries of language. Each could find in himself an element of both the Israelite and the Samaritan and so perhaps it is best if we would all look at how Christ is here defining the word neighbor. One’s neighbor does not rely on one’s definition of Israelite or Samaritan, but on the openness of each and everyone together to contribute to the lives of one another and to allow others to contribute to our lives as well.

Last Update: April 24Especially check out the Field News site which has some major announcements effecting the partnership and the field.The NEXT MEETING will be JUNE 30-JULY 1.
Zimbabwe's situation is desperate. Your prayers and support are well-received. See the Prayer page. For more information and eyewitness photographs, see the Useful Links page as well as the Field News for new situations, developments and reports.
Where is the hope? Check out the developing success page. Oh how God works!
Interested in Helping the Partnership? Want to receive Partnership updates? Interested in becoming a friend of the Africa Central Partnership? See the Communications page under the "Committees" section.
NEW Updates: Keep the North family in your prayers as they move on to a new phase in their life. The next meeting will be our last with Rob North as he and his family are planning to move to Kansas City for work in the NMI Office there.See their Newsletter for more information!http://www.geocities.com/gottfaith/NorthernEasterNews20061.pdf
We can use your help! Any suggestions, updates, info, etc. you may have in regards to the partnership or the website would be appreciated. Just send comments to Amber Drake at adrake@olivet.edu
"We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." -- John Stott
THE LATEST IN NEW ABOUT MALAWI Click here For more Africa articles, go to http://www.topix.net/world/south-africa

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