November 2023 NEWSLETTER
Fred Rogers, renowned for his kindness, compassion, and unwavering intentionality, stands as an iconic figure of both the 20th and 21st centuries. His impact on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood reached far beyond the television screen. I am reminded of one instance when he received a letter from a blind girl expressing concern for his pet fish not being fed. To ease her worries, he made a point to announce, “I’m feeding the fish,” at the end of every episode from then on. This small gesture demonstrated his deep care for every viewer, even those who couldn’t see, ensuring their connection to the show through listening. It’s this profound intentionality that solidifies Mister Rogers as a cherished personality of our time.
There are a couple things we have in common with Mister Rogers. First and foremost, we have our own neighborhood filled with people who we have contact with and we strive to be close to so we can help them. Second, we have the love of Christ moving us through our neighborhood. Though the secular world might not notice it, anyone with a sense of the phrase, “love of Christ” would know that Fred Rogers personified that love every day on PBS. So just as Mister Rogers personified that love and intentionality, I pose one question. As part of Homeless Awareness month, the question we must ask ourselves is: How can I be Intentional?
In the third chapter of 1 Samuel, the young prophet Samuel receives a divine calling from God while he sleeps. Confused, he turns to his elderly mentor, Eli, who guides him to respond to God’s next call. When it comes, Samuel answers, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” In the following years, the Lord moves through Samuel, setting in motion the anointing of Saul, David, and ultimately, Jesus Christ. Samuel’s intentional listening paved the way for God’s extraordinary plans.
Like Samuel, we must train ourselves to hear the voice of the Lord. When we do, we must respond with, “Here I am, Lord. Speak to me for I am listening.” There is substantial work ahead, and we must approach it with intentionality. Many suffer in silence, and we are often unaware that our actions make a monumental difference. My challenge to all of us this month is to carry forth this love intentionally. Whatever being intentional looks like, we must act now, be it volunteering time to assist TRM, donating money so TRM can purchase food and other items to further the Lord’s Kingdom, offering prayer and support for the teams who are on the front-line ministering to the lost and broken.
People are hurting. Whoever it may be, the depressed veteran, the abused single mother, the isolated addict. This is our mission. We are called and equipped for this purpose so let’s stay connected to our neighbors and carry on in this labor with steadfast hearts. Let’s be intentional in listening for the Lord’s calling and ease the worries of our neighbors and let’s feed the fish. †
Heartland District Huddle
Last month we were honored to host the Citygate Network Heartland District Huddle. This was an incredible opportunity for staff from different Missions in the region to come together, network, and be encouraged together. We had a special time of worship, breakout sessions, and amazing word from our good friend John “The Iron Man” Cantrell. We are blessed to be a part of this network and grateful to God for their unending support, love, and guidance