June 2017: Adventures in Hospitality

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“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

One rainy afternoon, Alberto, the local pastoral intern, and I were Bible sharing with the few youth who came. Suddenly, two strangers walked up to the church door. Greg, a Brazilian, and Joyce, from Malaysia, were traveling all over Southeast Asia. The two traveled light; each with just a small backpack.

“We’re looking for a place to stay” Greg said.
“Like a guesthouse?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “We don’t usually pay for accommodation, we like to stay with families. We don’t need a room or even a shower.”

After a brief discussion, Alberto invited them to stay in the parsonage with him. It’s a big house but quite run-down. Nevertheless, the couple was pleased to receive the hospitality. In the evening we shared a meal together and heard of their adventure traveling the world relying on the hospitality of locals. 

Greg and Joyce embodied a spirit of grace and simplicity. Despite the rain and rough travel, they were committed to relying on local hospitality, kindness, and generosity. Some would call them naïve of course, but what we saw in them was a wisdom born of trust, discovery, and open-heartedness. Their visit, I’d say, was the highlight of our week.

We all know that the world can be a scary and troubling place. When we look around it’s quite easy to see scarcity rather than abundance and to experience anxiety rather than trust. But Greg and Joyce reminded us of something we are also continually discovering: that the world is surprisingly reliable; kindness, and generosity are always available; and grace truly does abound. 

Tom and Monica Liddle serve with the Protestant Church of East Timor. Their appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.

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