It is thrilling to meet new people and to be able to trust them almost immediately because they are members of the Body of Christ. It isn’t often that people are willing to open their home to you right after they meet you, but it is and should be a lot more common in the Body of Christ.
During the EXITE mission trip to Costa Rica, we stayed at the church: Comunidad Biblica de la Gracia. The Ticos (Costa Ricans) were kind enough to let us stay in the church for over a week. We even had cooks–Marta, Raquel, and Aaron–who came to church at 5:00 every morning to make us breakfast. There were days when they didn’t leave the church at night until 9:00. They not only cooked, but helped with Kids Games every day as well – that’s true hospitality!
I was also amazed by the Brown family. I met Melissa Brown our first full day in Costa Rica – she was with my group handing out flyers inviting people to Kids Games. We stopped at her house to use the facilities – she welcomed us into their home and I started talking to Melissa, her sister Stephanie, and their mother. We were promptly invited to come back for tortillas and coffee – not only our small group, but the whole EXITE team! Long story short, we did go back to the Brown household with most of the EXITE team and it ended up being one of our favorite parts of the trip!
I was amazed, not only by the kindness and hospitality of the Ticos, but by the kindness of those on the team itself. I discovered that eight of the twenty team members were from Bethesda, a Grace church in Minnesota. Having an open summer, I decided to go home with the Minnesotans, not sure how long I would stay or how I would get home. Three families gladly opened their homes to me – without grumbling or complaining or a hint of regret, but with excitement and joy. My time in Minnesota has been such a blessing and has provided me with a picture of hospitality that I want to model my life around!
Romans 12:13 says, “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Hospitality is not just a practice that we should show from time to time, but it is a way of life. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” What a beautiful verse. Not only can showing hospitality be a blessing to others, but it can be a blessing to the ones actually showing hospitality. Fellowship is sweet. Let’s seek to show hospitality with our time, belongings, and our attitude from day to day!
Thank you for opening up your homes and hearts to me!