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by Rik Charbonneaux  
5/13/2017 / Christian Living

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40 KJV

I live in an international community comprised of professionals from the world over who work under Visa for a major agricultural manufacturer. Just on my little circle of 100 homes, as a Christian, I am a religious minority and just love that fact. Of the Saudis, Indians, Filipinos, Egyptians, Koreans, Bosnians, Pakistanis, Burmese and the Chinese who are my neighbors, I like the Chinese and the Muslims the best. They are clearly the most fun to gather with, to entertain and to let the opinions fly.

I had the good fortune to be able to pull a dog off of the Chinese patriarch who was out walking early one morning and since that moment, the Chinese have accepted me as one of their own. Through talking with the younger ones, they have yet to be invited into the homes of any of their American neighbors, as was later determined to be the case with the Muslim folks as well. I initiated an open door policy for any international neighbor who needs help in communicating wants or needs to our Neighborhood Association, who had pretty well placed such things low on their list. With my front door open to all, I have great opportunities to speak of my faith to visitors and they of theirs. I really enjoy that and it all due to just saying hello to those who just wanted to fit in for the time they are here in America. Coming from half a world away, "welcome to America" has not been a common greeting to most.

Putting myself in their place of having to leave home for work far away, the only one I know from a half a world away is a young Jewish boy named Jesus Bar Joseph of Nazareth, Israel, who I met in the New Testament. I am sure that he would befriend me if I had to go to Israel for work. He was a smart kid who just amazed everyone with his knowledge of the Torah and he made everyone feel welcome, except those who had made his Father's house in Jerusalem a house of merchandise. To walk with Him would be great with an easy pace and a gentle cadence, and to listen and learn from Him would make the heart burn with joy. I met Him later in the Old Testament and I will meet him again in Glory. Yes, I think that my Lord Jesus would welcome me as a neighbor into His Father's Mansion of many rooms, just I have welcomed my international neighbors into my home.

Rik Charbonneaux is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.

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