Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Intentional Spontaneous Hospitality

Have you ever been an answer to prayer?

Back in the 80s when we lived in Lima, Peru, an American man and his two teenage sons showed up at our church one Sunday. Ex-pats tend to gravitate toward each other, so of course we talked to them. During the course of the conversation, we asked if they would like to come to our house for lunch. Three hungry men being offered home cooked food? Yes, please!

We found out that the father was a representative for a mission seeking to find unreached tribes to bring Christians to them with the gospel. The father-son outing they had just been on had taken them to the jungles to look for almost unseen trails and broken twigs in hopes of finding an unreached tribe. Not your basic father-son camping trip, that!

While we were eating dessert, the father said to us "Actually, this meal is an answer to prayer. We fly back to the states tonight. We have enough money to get a taxi to the airport, but didn't have any cash to buy lunch, so before we walked over to the church today, we prayed that God would provide lunch."

Wow, we were an answer to prayer. Thank you, Lord, that You put it in our hearts to obey, even if we were just looking for a chance to speak English to some Americans

One time when we were on furlough an immigration situation for our adopted child left me in a missionary apartment with three small children while my husband traveled to meetings outside the country for 10 days. 

Sunday morning I got the kids ready to drive to church, but I just didn't have the energy to think about lunch. I prayed, "Lord, could you please have someone invite us for lunch?" To show my faith I packed extra diapers and the little ones' bibs in the diaper bag.

As I was putting the kids in their coats to leave church a woman looked at me and said, "Would you like to go to lunch with us?" I hope I didn't startle her with my enthusiastic response! We went to a fast food roast beef sandwich place. It was perfect--kids fed quickly, a toy surprise, and some adult fellowship for me. Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayer.

Want to get in on the fun?

Some suggestions:

  1. Have plenty of food ready. If you don't end up having someone over, you've got leftovers for another night!
  2. Have the fixings for back-up salad or veggie in the fridge. They can fill up on the variety.
  3. Serve bread.
  4. Don't apologize -- not for the quality, quantity, state of your house, or late invitation. Just welcome them into your home and they'll be thrilled.
  5. Plan to have an unplanned guest (or two). Ask God to make you aware of those around you who could use the blessing. You might see them at work, the store, or church. 

You never know when you'll be an answer to prayer!

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This week's hack comes from Shannon: No phones, no tv, and we bought a conversation starter game. We made it work. It was a struggle at first but you have to want it enough to make it happen. Stand your groundl

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  1. Very inspiring. Great tips to be prepared. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great ideas! I'm trying to think of this any Sunday and pick up a tiny bit before we leave the house. We never know who might come home with us!

  3. We have a similar story! We were traveling in Malaysia with small kids and a little reluctantly got up early on Sunday after a sleepless Saturday night. We were invited out after church for noodles and fellowship. What a blessing it was to talk with those sisters and brothers!

  4. Great tips! I really like #4... that's something I need to work on. Thank you for sharing :)



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