Emails are convenient, yes, but talking to people is irreplaceable. Last week, I was having a hard time figuring out how to call Germany, yet my determination to make the personal connection drove me to solve the problem. A young lady from a small village in Germany contacted my office about desiring to come and join a YWAM school. We emailed back and forth for a few days until finally, I was able to call her using a phone app.
Her response was priceless. “I can’t believe you would take the time to actually try to call me from America,” she said after our introductions. In our world of email, text, and instant messages, nothing says you really care like an actual live friendly voice. This was her first experience with our campus, and I hope she felt valued.
Value may be the most important thing we communicate to one another.
I hear Jesus’ words over and over throughout His teachings saying, “Whosoever will ….” The “whosoever” indicates there is no distinction of race, class, or gender to be welcomed into the Kingdom. People have value. They are so valuable it’s our duty as believers to be as hospitable as we can to show them the love the Father has for them.
I’m learning this first hand and trying to practice what I preach. Deep down I’m asking the same basic intrinsic, yet subliminal, question every other person on the planet is asking, “Do you like me?” I look around where I work and worship and wonder, “Do people really like me?” If I’m asking that, I’m sure others are even if they don’t acknowledge it.
Recently, we opened our home to a young South Korean girl for a year as she studies at the school Audrey attends. For the record, we only have 3 bedrooms which meant someone was going to be sharing a room with our new guest. Audrey showed sincere hospitality by rearranging her room to accommodate her new housemate and make her space comfortable.
Thursday last week we had a special surprise. Our good friends from Thailand, Paul and Penny Wilcox, took time while in Texas to spend a day with us. I saw hospitality work two-directionally, and what a blessing it was. They showed us value by carving out space and time when they could have done something a lot more exciting, and we opened our home and took time off work so they would know we deeply care about our relationship.
Hospitality says, “You are loved.” Jesus showed us first hand the clear connection between the Gospel and hospitality when we read, “For God so loved the world, He gave …”.
Take time to extend a greeting, have a needed conversation, or even open your home, as a means to be hospitable. Hear Jesus reminding you, “Whosever will … come.” Perhaps your hospitality will be the first Gospel experience someone will ever have.
As we continue to serve as missionaries in East Texas, we value your partnership to keep us ministering to the nations. Find out how to partner with us on our partnering page.
* The featured image in this post is from a painting project Audrey created during YWAM Tyler’s Family Sync program this Summer.