As part of the WWFBC 2008 Ladies’ Retreat on March 14-15, I taught a workshop on Ministering to Missionaries in Your Home. My challenge to the women is that our homes and all that we have are simply “Ours to Share.” In addition to blessing the missionaries who stay in our homes, this is also a great way to start a network of relationships with people all over the world. Jim Elliot wrote, “Missionaries are very human folks, just doing what they are asked…simply a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody.”
It is not just pastors who are commanded to be “given to hospitality” (I Tim. 3:2), but all believers are challenged to “distribute to the necessity of the saints, (be) given to hospitality” (Romans 12:13). Hebrews 6:10 reveals that God will not “forget your work and labor of love…(your ministry) to the saints.” He commends the house of Stephanus, who were described in I Cor. 16:15 as ADDICTED to the ministry of the saints! When he wrote to the Romans, Paul commended “Phebe, our sister, (who) is a servant…and hath been a succourer of many.” Webster’s dictionary defines “succourer” as one who “runs to the rescue!” Would that every believer used the gifts of God to “run to the rescue” to traveling missionary families.
By way of practical advice, I mentioned that sometimes missionaries like to do the cooking when they stay in my home. When that happens, we know we are in for a treat, because we experience food from around the world. That is how I acquired the recipe for “Spaghetti With Eggs and Bacon!” Curious? Here’s the recipe as I received it from missionary to Italy, Linda Bloyd:
8 oz. spaghetti
1/2 lb. bacon
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. milk or cream
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook bacon, drain and crumble; set aside. Combine eggs, cheese and milk in a small mixing bowl. Drain spaghetti and return to cooking pan. Stir in egg mixture. Quickly toss and cook until the egg mixture is done and coats spaghetti. Stir in bacon and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
I also provided the ladies with advice about preparing a guest room and bath. I would be glad to send “How to Outfit a Guest Room and Guest Bathroom” to anyone who contacts me through the website.
We’ve had a lot of fun with missionary kids over the years. I remember one 5-year old MK who enjoyed a weekend romp with our own 5 lively children. When he was leaving, I said, “Nicholas, it was GREAT to have you here. I sure do hope you come again!”
He looked seriously into my face and replied, “Well, if you take us on for support, we WILL come back!”
There is a scriptural principle at work when we open our homes to serve missionaries: “with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matt. 7:2). I would not encourage anyone to have missionaries in their home for what they can get out of it, but certainly, I have found over the years that I have never gone hungry because I shared my food with missionaries! My children have been blessed by the happy memories of missionaries who stayed many times in our home. We have enjoyed staying with missionaries in foreign countries, receiving from them the very hospitality we offered in the USA! And, best of all, I know the Lord is pleased: “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love…in that ye have ministered to the saints.”