Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Unexpected Gifts of Hospitality

This is the second summer I’ve been honored to co-teach a summer Bible study with my mentors. This week’s topic is Hospitality.

I blogged a little about the topic but I haven’t studied at length. I have had some good, bad and interesting experiences along the way.

This week I am sharing what the Bible has to say about Hospitality and my goal is not make us all like traditional Hospitality examples we’ve all seen in our lives. And yes, you’ll have to listen to the Podcast at MerryMinistries.com to get the whole teaching. Pretty please :)
I do want to share some stories I couldn’t fit in the teaching.

When I was in College, I enjoyed the Hospitality of different families in the summer while I did my internships in newspapers.
God would always bless me with a family who would welcome me in for the summer while I worked in their local newspaper. I started the summer as a complete stranger and we’d leave as family.

How did I find those wonderful people? I’d write the local church (I was Methodist at the time) and ask them if someone could house me for the summer. I’d introduce myself very well in the email. I’d tell them about my background, my GPA, my church involvement and how I also wished to serve their church that summer.

Being connected with a local family made life easier in many ways. I was naturally rooted in the community and as a journalist, I got to know a lot of sources that way. I was naturally rooted in the church, I did not have to look for a church to attend that summer.
Oh, it was also nice to live in a home after 9 months living in my dorm.

All of my summer families made me feel at home immediately. Their heart attitude was very Christ like. They treated me as their own, which made me so at ease. It was also nice to have someone to talk to after a long day at work. No matter how challenging or exciting my day was, it was great to have people to talk to and to reflect on the adventures of the day.
I understand that not everyone would be okay with living with a family for the summer but I love family and I find that I thrive in family environments.
I can also say that the hospitality I experienced gave me many life gifts:

• I learned to appreciate Jamaican food while living in Newark with my summer family. They also took me to many Jamaican parties where I ate shark for the first time.
• I learned to appreciate homemade pesto while living in Huntington, WV with my summer family. My dear friend Jane Ellen also helped me appreciate the music of James Taylor.
• I became quite the tour guide during my stay in Niagara Falls, NY. I went there so many times, I could guide a tour all by myself. I also learned to bake oatmeal raisin and nut cookies that summer.

It was supposed to be just housing for the summer while I did my internships but I walked away with a great appreciation for hospitality and with summer families who became forever families.

• What are the unexpected things that Hospitality has taught you?

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