Thursday, May 21, 2015

Strangers in My House

How We Bring the World to Us

In the last month we've had people from Mexico, Colombia, Canada, Finland, Puerto Rico, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Korea, and Kenya at our house as well as from seven states! Some of them we knew before they came and some we met when they arrived at our door. Well, actually one couple, the parents of our student-teacher boarder, we met after they'd spent the night at our house as they arrived after we had gone to bed!

Where do we find these people? I guess you could say we are drawn to them. Or maybe they are drawn to us.

The truth is we have always had an open door policy--an extra plate at the table, a child we could kick out a bed to let someone spend the night. We talk to people and find out family or friends or missionaries are coming into town and need a place to stay and we're happy to oblige. Besides now, we actually have a guest room so no one has to get kicked out.

I can't tell you how much we've learned from these people: about their country, their language, themselves, the Lord, their food (sometimes I get them to cook something!), how to pray for them, their country, and their ministry, their kind of humor... 

I only wish more people would open their homes. You know it doesn't have to be a perfect home or spotless, or gourmet food. 

There are about a dozen students living in the dorms of Emmaus Bible College near us right now. They are the summer workers, mostly foreign students who can't go home and can only work on campus. There's no food being served there now and the student kitchen doesn't offer much more than a coffee maker and a microwave.

On Sunday night one of the teachers and his wife invited them over. They served on disposable plates and everyone sat around on chairs or they floor of the small apartment visiting for several hours.

The next night we realized was the only night we could have them over for quite a while, so we issued an invitation, and we grilled chicken, sliced baked potatoes, and made a salad. Dessert was a pudding "eclair". They were thrilled! So were we, laughing and talking for three hours. Imagine a bunch of college kids hanging out with a middle aged couple like us!

As an ice breaker (as if one was needed!) I told them to wander around my house and look at my knick knacks and decorations and choose one that in some way related to them and bring it to the table to tell the rest of us about how it related. I have things from all over, the world, that is, and that's what they are--things--so I don't mind them being used, touched or carried. (Unless it's my center piece. Don't touch the centerpiece!) *smile*

It was great to get to know them.

How open is your home?

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