The Art of Hospitality

flower, hospitality
Did you know the real meaning of hospitality is actually kindness to strangers?  Yes, strangers... people you don't know.  Hospitality is a quality that Jesus holds in high regard and one that we should practice.  God gives us love and compassion and if we put that into action we get hospitality.

Leviticus 19:33 "When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them."

1 Peter 4:9 "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."

Titus 1:8 "Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined." 

These are a few, of the many, verses on hospitality but more often than not it's a quality or characteristic we seem to overlook. Unfortunately, you could say that it's rarely even practiced.

Erica, receives Dialysis for four hours three times a week.
Our latest hospitality efforts started with an idea from Erica. Erica is a member of Conexion, our young adult ministry, and she has a type of Lupus that has destroyed both her kidneys.  For seven years she has come to this clinic three times a week.  She mentioned that over 100 people go to this clinic daily for their dialysis treatment. Many of them live far away and they have to wait a long time to receive their treatment. So we decided to go visit the dialysis patients and give them Bululos (a type of a roll) with beans and coffee. We also were able to share and pray with some of the patients and their family members. One man called me over and asked where we were from. I told him we are from El Faro church but we just wanted to show them the love of God in a practical way.  He said, "We are all very touched by your kindness."
Ruben praying for a patient waiting for his treatment.

Angela, praying with an elderly lady who just finished her treatment and her family members who were waiting for her.

When we had finished handing out the food and praying we had quite a bit left over so we decided to go to a place were many homeless people gather.  It was starting to rain but that didn't keep anyone from coming to get some food and coffee.

Some children who ran over to receive some food and coffee.
 This morning I was showing my three year old son, Evan, the pictures. I showed him the little children that had come. In his childlike innocence he asked me, "Why?" I explained various reasons why these children could by hungry. What he said next was not at all manipulated by me.  It truly came from my three year old who, apparently, understands hospitality better than I do.
He said, "Mom, I got an idea. I have money. With that money we can by food for the little boys and girls."  Talk about melting my heart.  One of my heart's desires is that my children are compassionate and love others as Jesus does. Our conversation this morning just confirmed in my heart that Evan will be compassionate and he will be hospitable.

If a three year old can think of ways to be hospitable I know that we, as adults, can do so too.  Try to incorporate hospitality in your daily life; kindness to strangers. Remember, you don't have to go to another country or be a missionary to be hospitable.  People (strangers) are everywhere. Start in your neighborhood or when you go to the store. Just be aware of the people around you and the opportunities to be hospitable will flow.

You can read more real stories about the needs Hondurans have here Hospital Stories

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