My family moved into a new housing strata in May 2019. We immediately started to meet our new neighbours with invitations to a Thanksgiving open house and Christmas caroling, which resulted in getting to know a few neighbours. With people coming and going in cars straight from their garages, it was difficult, but we wanted to get to know more of them. Just before we could invite our neighbours to gather for Easter or host a summer strata BBQ, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down our ability to gather socially. Out of frustration with my inability to connect with my neighbours, I started praying for them instead. Imagine that! Writing down each person’s name and praying for them specifically throughout the fall, I was surprised by how many spontaneous conversations I was suddenly having at the end of my driveway and as I walked to pick up my mail. A week before Christmas, my pastor, Jeff Bjorgan (Emmanuel Church, West Kelowna, B.C.), encouraged our congregation to go outside at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve to sing “Silent Night.” We thought that was a great idea and decided to send an email to everyone in our strata to join us – and join us they did! What an incredible experience to walk to the end of our driveway on Christmas Eve and see so many of our neighbours already waiting. We sang “Silent Night” with 23 people from nine houses on our little street. Worshipping the newborn King in my neighbourhood with believers and non-believers alike was the highlight of my Christmas. Christ the Saviour is Born!
IrisLee Koch, Global Volunteer Administrator for International Missions
Photo courtesy IrisLee Koch.