For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40 ESV)
This month marks one year since we became Wycliffe members. In the past year we have experienced quite a bit and gone through a significant learning curve. We have been trained at Wycliffe to gain a better understanding of the organization and the importance of partners.
We had the opportunity to train with other missionaries at Resonate Global Mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan where we learned a number of things that helped to prepare us for our assignment. In particular, we were both impacted by the training in spiritual warfare.
Then there was ICC at JAARS. ICC is an Intercultural Communications Course. And JAARS is a partner organization to Wycliffe that originally focused on Jungle Aviation And Radio Service. This course covered a wide range of topics that we covered in a previous (Click here) blog.
We have been knocked about by spiritual warfare (more about that another time). But then we have been wonderfully surprised by how the Holy Spirit gifts God’s people in ways that has amazed us. We have seen the gifts of administration, teaching, and preaching. We have been blessed by intercession of faithful prayer warriors. We have even seen prophecy in action.
But one of the greatest lessons we have learned was what it looks like to be blessed with the spiritual gift of hospitality. Since our original assignment changed, we found ourselves without a home for a season. Deb, a member of our Advisory Prayer Team (APT) stepped up without any hesitation and offered to let us stay with her until we were ready to move into our new home.
We did not immediately jump at the offer. Having a place to stay that was close to the house we just sold and also to the place that we were going to move into, was almost too good to be true. There were other possibilities with family members. We could have even spent time going from one home to the other “spreading the gift of our company”.
In the end, we accepted her gracious gift. It has been such a tremendous blessing to us. We have been showered in God’s grace through this wonderful host. She has been the cool glass of refreshing water. She has been the bread to nourish. She has been the roof to protect us from the Minnesota elements.
Through this experience, she has been a teacher; an example for us to follow. Prayerfully, we, too, can practice what she modeled for us and we will have the freedom to be more gracious and to exercise our own gift of hospitality.
I have heard from a number of our friends who have needed to stay by others for a time. Maybe they were between selling their home and having 100% of their budget reached or maybe they were between assignments, but they have needed a place to stay. They, too, have reflected on the tremendous selflessness of their hosts.
So I end this short blog with a prayer:
Dear Jesus. Thank you for Deb. Thank you for the Holy Spirit abundantly blessing her with the spiritual gift of hospitality. Thank you also for all of the host families who take in your people who need to have a place to stay or a meal to eat or maybe just a glass of cool refreshing water. Thank you for teaching us to be better hosts ourselves, not for our own glory, but only to your glory. In your holy name, amen.
Hebrews 13:2 ESV
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.