God's Kingdom in Our Communities


God is doing incredible things through creative and hope-filled churches around the world. Most often, these congregations are small, rural, and scattered across continents in some of the most remote pockets of our planet. These congregations are comprised of entrepreneurial pastors and devoted disciples who are community leaders; they are often teachers, farmers, mechanics, and more. They are Christ-followers who devote their lives to teaching kids and who work tirelessly when a storm strikes or crops fail.

train station

Last year, I had the privilege of shadowing one of our Nazarene volunteers serving at train stations in Przemysl, Poland, helping Ukrainian refugees seek safety across the border. Iryna’s feet never stopped moving, and her eyes never stopped scanning the crowd for those who needed help. What an incredible gift it was to stand with her and serve alongside her for several days.

When the trains arrived, and the women and children poured out, Iryna’s trained eye found those who needed extra care. She spotted the elderly women who were traveling alone and would struggle with the stone steps. We carried their suitcases, and she chatted with them while providing a calming assurance. She saw the moms with young kids who needed a hand. She identified teenagers who seemed bored and gave them a colorful pen, paper pad, or stickers. She knew they wouldn’t say much, but she knew they needed something to do and someone who cared enough to notice.

It was beautiful to witness Iryna in action as the hands and feet of Christ. Iryna has been an incredible gift of God for others in their time of pain, uncertainty, fear, and need throughout the war on Ukraine. She continues to serve in new ways and embody what it means to live out God’s compassion for the world. Thank you, Iryna.

There are thousands upon thousands of faithful servants like Iryna serving in the Lord’s church that is truly beyond borders. What a testimony to the power and the love of God they are! Servants like Iryna testify to the Lord’s “kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”

Even in the midst of hard times and difficult circumstances, God is working in our communities, and we are invited to join. Often, God is working in very small and unassuming ways. God wants to give us new eyes and new ears to hear where transformation is needed. May we, too, see the elderly, the child, the single mom, the teenager, the immigrant, the prisoner, and our neighbor with the eyes of Christ.

This is what it means to live out compassion in the world, and each of us is invited into this Kingdom— into this new way in the world—the way of Jesus. May the world be transformed by his love through us.