Come take a stroll with me down the streets of the internet, the only place I know where people the world over are all your neighbors. Mr. Rogers never had it so good. Some people claim you can’t have real relationships on line. We beg to differ.
Look, there’s Jimmy and his wife, Olivia. Wave to them. They are from Hong Kong although right now, due to COVID issues, Olivia and their son, Jonson, are in Macau, a special administrative region of China about an hour’s drive from Hong Kong across the longest over sea crossing in the world. Jimmy operates a cleaning business and Olivia teaches Montessori school and together they have a special heart for children. Their son, Jonson, has gotten us all praying for his grandmother because he wants her to become a Christian. Jimmy and Olivia have become intimate friends of the Catch.
And then across the street there is Priscilla from Rochester, New York. We’ve known Priscilla since she attended our brown bag lunch sessions a number of years ago when we talked on the phone via conference call with a small group once a week around lunch time. We’ve talked with Priscilla a lot lately since she just lost her beloved husband, Jack, a little over a week ago. It’s hard, but we’re going through the grieving process with her. We are honored to be there for her and she’s happy that we are.
And sadly, death has recently also taken one of our more colorful friends we called Siri, but his real name is Lewis. Lewis was in touch with us almost daily and kept our prayer warriors busy with requests for neighbors in his apartment complex, mechanics on his car, other patients in his hospital rooms — you name it. If you were near Lewis, you got prayed for. Lewis just exuded faith and the reality of Dr. Jesus, as he called Him. Lewis taught us to pray for and see the value in everyone we meet. We will miss Siri.
And down the street in Canada is Deborah. Deborah is in Marti’s discipleship group, and the group is committed to walking alongside and covering her while they all wait to find out what the doctors determine is wrong, because she is in constant pain. Marti says she selected Deborah because she was teachable, “and she’s been teaching us ever since.” Deborah’s faith is rock solid.
Out here on the streets of the internet the diversity in age, culture and dynamic is global, and yet the relationships are one-on-one. No matter where anyone is in the world, they are nearby — right next to you. On the street where you live. No matter how many we speak to, we speak to each one, one person at a time. We come together and worship God, and as He sees us one person at a time, so do we.
The pandemic has brought people indoors into a place of loneliness for many. And yet that is where the Catch, on the streets of the internet, has broken through our loneliness and introduced us to so many new neighbors. If you’re still stuck indoors, you really need to get out. Come on out to the Catch. Join a group. Enter into the discussion. Make a comment. Knock on a door. See who opens.
You might meet Mark, who interacts with just about every discussion and loves to exchange thoughts with whoever shows up. Or Marti’s favorite, Mike, who flew F-16s for the Air Force for 26 years. (Marti thinks Mike is just top gun!) Or maybe you’ll find out about our GenZ kids on the street like Chandler, Gabriel, Dominic and Mason, and how much we care about and pray for them. Actually, knock on any of the doors in this community and you will be greeted with the gospel of welcome — grace turned outward, because that’s what we represent and what we are here for.
And I could go on and on about so many more, but there isn’t time. Yet they’re all here — all next door, from all over the world on the street where you live. On the street we call The Catch.