1 Peter 4:9 tells us to “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Romans 12:13 instructs us to “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Paul and the writer of Hebrews also praise hospitality as a Christian virtue, a blessing to others, and a responsibility.
So what does it mean to practice hospitality?
I don’t know what the early church’s view on hospitality was, nor the customs of that culture for hosting visitors, but I do know that this past month God has called us to hospitality in the Nicaraguan context. After all, of him to who much is given, much is required, and we definitely received abundant hospitality from our families and friends in the states during December.
It started out on the first day back in country. Within two hours of landing in Nicaragua, we were on our way back to our home in Leon with one of the girls from House of Hope. Clariza lived with us for two and a half weeks as she studied for and took her college entrance exam. (Thanks for all the prayers! We’ll let you all know the results when they come out on Wednesday.) Although initially it was hard to get used to having someone else at home – especially someone who didn’t speak English – we adjusted and loved having our adopted “daughter” with us.
We also started off hosting our “Gringo Fellowship” group every Sunday night for its inaugural month. We really love sharing life with the other four families in the group. We are all involved in different things, but look forward to helping each other out and being a good support system for each other.
Finally this past weekend, we had the pleasure to host some dear friends from Esteli, and this Saturday, we hope to have the pastor of the local church we are attending over for dinner with his family and the Whittakers.
Today is the first day since we’ve been back that we won’t be having someone staying with us in the house…at least that we know of! So is this what it means to practice hospitality? I think the answer is different for everyone, but I do know that it has been a blessing for us to steward the resources that God has given us in order to bless others over the past 20 days!