Alumni Events

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Anna Montgomery June 06, 2014
Back to Blog

TeenPact Leadership Schools, in conjunction with the Jimmy Brazell Foundation, presented the Third Annual Jimmy Brazell Impact Scholarship Third Place Award to TeenPact student Karl Welch from Louisiana.


Read his award-winning essay below, written in response to the topic question, “How have you impacted the world or your community through servant-minded, Christ-like love?”



Mark 12:31 states Love your neighbor as yourself. Your neighbor could be shy, elderly, or foreign. Your neighbor could be mean and unlovable. Your neighbor are the members of you family that you need to love. My neighbor needs to be loved. His name is Mr. Harvey and he is eighty-two years old. Mr. Harvey lives by himself and over the years we observed that he doesn’t have any friends that come to visit him.


One morning I witnessed him struggling with his lawnmower. When he tried to start his lawnmower, it didn’t want to work. I went over to his front yard and asked if I could help him. He didn’t want to accept my help since he is a timid, shy and a very private person. I didn’t give up! I couldn’t see him struggle.


So, I ran home, got my lawnmower, and started to cut his grass. Rooted like a statue, he watched me closely from his driveway. He was stunned! This act of kindness caught him of guard.


After cutting the grass, my Dad and I fixed his lawnmower. The belt of his ridding lawnmower needed to be put back on. From then on when I saw him cut his grass, I would get my lawnmower and aid him. He started to trust me. We started to like each other and a friendship was formed. Then he invited me inside his home. His house was filled with beautiful paintings and intricate woodwork. He told me about the history of the art hanging in his home. He is the artist. I learned through paintings about his childhood on a corn plantation, his desire to play football for LSU, and the places he had vacationed. History of Joan of Arc and George Washington came to life in his wonderful crafted paintings. He talked about the WWII  and his life as a soldier stationed in New Orleans. All these memories were captured in paintings. While he would stand in front of a painting and relive his memories, I would be a witness.


His paintings weren’t shy and timid. They were full of vibrant colors and spiced with the zest of life. Bringing a home cooked meal, inviting him for iced tea, was my way of checking up on him. Every day I visited him, he would tell me the same memories. I didn’t mind! After a little while we became his family. Once he was locked out of his home, I realized that he had Alzheimer’s. Our daily visits lasted for about a year until he got transferred to a nursing home. I still visit him today in the nursing home and his fellow friends there. He still talks about his pictures, and I read the Bible to him and his friends. Never can he remember the Bible stories, but he remembers our time together. We are unlikely friends and I don’t mind at all – it brings me joy.


God has given me the opportunity to help two elderly ladies on our street to cut their grass, rake leaves, and weed their gardens. We are all children of God and worthy of love. The biggest commandment in the Bible is love. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. I’m happy Mr. Harvey is my neighbor.


Who is your neighbor?



About the Author

Anna Montgomery

Anna Montgomery (and her crazy sidekick pup, Flynn), happily call the cornfields of Columbus, Indiana home.   She got her start in TeenPact… Read More