Sharing Hospitality

Just over a year ago, our relationship with Renso and Paola, Camila and Nicholas grew from a casual greeting on the street to the beginning of friendship when we were invited to Renso’s birthday. Several months later, after more times spent in each others’ homes (think pizza nights, among other things), times of conversations regarding faith, vocation, and family, they approached us about getting together to read the Bible with their family. We took our time reading through the story of Jesus recorded in Mark, being confronted and challenged by Jesus’s teachings, love, and authority. You’ve gotten glimpses of this growing relationship. 

About a month ago, I walked out the front door to walk to our closest bakery to buy bread, only to run into (figuratively, not literally, as fate would have it) another neighbor, Alfredo. And somehow our conversation moved from greeting to sharing faith to him telling me his life story and journey of faith and what he and his wife and son are looking for. So I told him I had an idea and would be in touch soon. 

That night, I talked to Renso and Paola and told him about my conversation with Alfredo, and that he and Melania are searching. What about, when we finish Mark, inviting them to join our group? Renso and Paola were all for it and said they would take the initiative to share with Alfredo and Melania about what we do, what it looks like, and coordinating a time to get together. And they did. 

We finished reading Mark and that same week Renso and Paola invited us and Alfredo, Melania, and Jose Antonio over for tea and conversation, and we’ve since gotten together two more times and have started reading through the book of Acts. It’s been so much fun. 

Renso and Paola were already hospitable people, but I believe that coming closer to Jesus has transformed that into more of a spirit of seeking out who is searching. And it’s been fun to see their interactions with Alfredo and Melania especially as Katie and I might be in the kitchen getting something ready, and they are sitting around our table taking the initiative to make our guests feel welcome and included. 

This is new territory for us. I wanted to share with you a bit of the story of how this relationship has grown, so you can better understand how trust grows over time and is extended hospitably to others as well. Please pray for both of these families, and the other 10 or so families that we know on our street as well. We’ve seen glimpses of God at work in community around tables with 🍕 🎂 and 🍜, and pray that God will continue to fill this neighborhood with peace, joy, and hope. 

By the way, at the end of this month Katie and I will have been in our home in this neighborhood two years. Thanks for praying with us for the relationships that we would be developing here. Please continue to do so and join us in giving thanks for a God who has led us into the lives of many of our neighbors.