Alliance News Feed – Hospitality: A Key to Conversion
by B, an Alliance worker who serves with her husband, JS, in the North and Central Asia Region
Before my husband and I left on our first overseas assignment in 2004, my father told us:
When we were a mission field, living in the mountains of Southeast Asia, the missionaries arrived. We really appreciated them; we still do. When they visited us, we always invited them into our home and fed them the best food that we had—even though we did not have much.
One day we traveled with a missionary to his home. When we arrived, he asked us to wait outside. We never saw the inside of his house. This made me feel like I was not worthy. Now that you are a missionary, I want you to invite people into your home—don’t ever make people feel unworthy.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
We’ve heard of the phrase, “Home is where the heart is.” When we open our homes to unbelievers, we open our hearts to them. This is where they experience Christ, since He lives in us. We have found that when unbelievers see our hearts for them, they open theirs in return—trust is built, and relationships deepen.
In 2009 we began working in quite a gospel-resistant area. Many told us that it would be impossible to lead anyone to Jesus or plant a church there. Eight months later, we brought the first two villagers to Christ, a father and his ill daughter who stayed in our home.
A few months after that, we invited another family to visit us from this area—about an eight-hour drive from our house. When they were about to return home, the father said to us, “Come back to our village. We are ready to receive Christ, for we now know that you are true to who you say you are.
“Many people have come to our village and shared about Jesus, but we’ve never seen the inside of their homes. We don’t know if we can trust them. But we can trust you because we’ve been in your home.”
We continue to invite people to our home from this area as well as from others. Each time, our visitors see our relationship with our God. We pray when we eat, we pray when we go to sleep, we pray when we have concerns and worries, and we pray when we go out.
We share the Word of God with them. And when appropriate, we also show them the JESUS film in their language.
Jesus Is Real!
During the few days that they are with us, unbelievers see that our Jesus is not an idol sitting on the shelf. He is alive in us, and we have a relationship with Him.
Our guests also experience answered prayers.
A young mother, who is also a village teacher, stayed with us in our home a few months ago. Ill with Tuberculosis, she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer at the area hospital.
She had dinner with us in our home, and before she went to sleep I prayed for her. The next day, after several examinations, the doctors said, “You don’t have breast cancer.”
Before she left our home, she said, “I have heard of Jesus Christ from many people, but I have never believed that He existed. While in your home, I met and experienced Jesus Christ—He is real! I want to believe in Him too.”
Through opening our home to unbelievers, our relationships deepen and people experience Christ. Although not everyone with whom we have contact is able to visit us, those who have been able to visit share their powerful testimonies with their friends and families that continue to impact people.
Two years ago, a church was planted in the very place where many people had said it was impossible. May God’s name be praised!
Source: Alliance News Feed – Hospitality: A Key to Conversion