One year and seven months after moving to Cardiff, Wales, Joy Price was ready for something to happen.
She and her family moved to the “castle capital of Europe” to share the hope of Christ with residents. Though the setting is a bit magical, in the shadows of the castles, the communities are plagued with drug use, prostitution and alcohol influence.
Joy, Shaun, and their four children felt led to settle into a diverse neighborhood and partner with a church that had a heart to reach the lost. They knew that seeing people come to Christ comes slowly in this post-Christian setting but were prepared to lay a good groundwork through acts of service.
COVID-19 complicated everything. They had three strict lockdowns and months of isolation, but the Price family took every opportunity to reach out in love to the people in their city.
They held Zoom sessions and Bible studies, helped with online church services and prayed, and they also threw themselves into the community service the church provides — a food bank, a night shelter for the homeless, and English classes. But that wasn’t enough, so they created their own opportunities in their neighborhood by picking up trash in the neighborhood, giving out home-made COVID care packages, making seasonal celebration gifts, and decorating their front window with Bible verses that were seen by frequent foot-traffic on their street.
But still, Joy was ready to do more.
“One night I couldn’t sleep, and I thought, you know, we’ve been here a year and seven months, and we’ve shared a lot of love and invitations for community, I think it’s time for these neighbors to know the reason why we are being so kind. So, I wrote out one of the boldest gospel presentations to date — my testimony and an invitation to know Jesus as Savior,” she said.
Her family made small gifts that would fit through the mail slot in the neighbors’ door with her typed testimony, tea bags and chocolate. The kids joined in to help deliver, they asked friends to lift them up in prayer and they asked God to bless their efforts to be bold.
“Now…we wait patiently,” Joy said.
Joy and Shaun don’t know the impact that testimony has had, but they are trusting that God will use it to bring their neighbors to Christ while continuing to invest in building relationships by sharing God’s love through acts of kindness.
Joy and Shaun are constantly looking for ways to share Christ in Cardiff. How are you sharing the gospel with your neighbors?
Here are three things to remember as you demonstrate God’s love in your community.
- Take every opportunity to share the love of Christ.
Not only do Joy and Shaun take every opportunity through the church, like prayer meetings, Bible studies and Zoom groups, but they are teaching their kids to share Christ through everyday life. They invite neighbor kids over to play, share Scripture and gifts during special holidays and serve the area by picking up trash in the name of Jesus.
- Don’t let other’s criticism stop you from boldly loving in His name.
“I parked the car in front of our house, and no sooner had I stepped foot out of the vehicle than my Indian neighbor, in her broken English, bluntly interjected, ‘You’re killing the roses! You give them no water and they die,’” Joy shared. “I nodded my head and went inside, defeated again by another comment from a critical neighbor that seems to get pleasure out of ‘telling it like it is.’”
Joy continued, “Just last month my other neighbor from Yemen told me that I was ‘so fat that I could use her outdoor trampoline to lose weight.’ I immediately ran inside, crying, and avoided her for a couple weeks.”
Thankfully, Joy decided she was not going to let these harsh words hinder these relationships anymore, and instead she asked her Indian neighbor to help her cut off the dead stems of all the roses. The neighbor was pleased to be asked and opened up about her life. She was still critical, but Joy remembered her identity in Christ and let the harsh words roll off her. Now she has a new relationship to foster because of her roses with Christ’s love.
Next…some trampoline time? No, but Joy and Shaun have had coffee with the Yemeni neighbor and have helped her with some home repairs.
- Do what God calls you to do and wait on Him to act.
When God put it on Joy’s heart to share her testimony boldly with her neighbors, she did it, although she was scared.
“I’ve got to be honest, being a missionary doesn’t stop fear (in fact, I think we have it more often). I could list a million reasons to water down what I wrote or not send it — but instead we chose to have friends lift us up in prayer, let our kids deliver the gifts and pray for the Lord to bless our efforts to be bold,” she said.
Sharing Christ in a secular world is often uncomfortable, but Scripture tells us to live out what we believe. It could be life-changing for those around you and will be life-changing for you as you obey God and proudly proclaim His message.